Long Gone? US Sends More to Libya for Weapons Search

US Warns Oil Companies: Watch Out for Missiles

US officials have warned the various oil companies in Northern Africa to be on the lookout for shoulder-launched missiles, saying that al-Qaeda is planning to possible launch some missiles either at an oil company headquarters or some plane.

The announcement comes as the US announces that it is sending several additional “weapons experts” to Libya to help the rebels locate and destroy the weapons in the Gadhafi regime’s arsenal, including an estimated 20,000 shoulder-launched missiles.

Officials have been concerned about this for awhile, but the reality is that much like Libya’s black population, the weapons are long gone, having been looted one carload at a time by weapons smugglers-to-be, leaving little but empty boxes and packing lists to indicate anything of value had ever been there.

The White House is playing up the importance of American forces on the ground in Libya, saying it is vital that they secure the nation’s WMDs. Exactly how much of those even remain in the country is unclear, but there have been few reports of large scale looting of them.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.