U.S. failure created ‘nightmare’ threat to airliners?
At a conference here this week, former CIA Director David Petraeus warned of a “nightmare” scenario in which missile proliferation could provide terrorists the capability to shoot down a civilian airliner.
Unmentioned by Petraeus is that the largest terrorist looting of Man-Portable-Air-Defense-Systems, or MANPADS, took place immediately after the U.S.-NATO military campaign that helped to end Moammar Gadhafi’s rule in Libya.
Gadhafi had hoarded Africa’s biggest known reserve of MANPADS, with his stock said to number between 15,000 and 20,000. Many of the missiles were stolen by militias fighting in Libya, including those backed by the U.S. their anti-Gadhafi efforts.
Shapiro was addressing a forum at the Stimson Center, a nonproï¬t think-tank that describes itself as seeking “pragmatic solutions for some of the most important peace and security challenges around the world.”
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