DAILY STUNNER: More missing weapons in Iraq: Surface to Air Missiles

[Got this out of the SF Chronicle. Checked in Google News. Less than 10 other references, 9 of which were wire repeats of the original article (from the NYT). The Washington Post printed a story that essentially rehashed the same material without much additional reporting. I’m surprised that this doesn’t have more currency in bloggerdom or the media, considering that these are the ideal terrorist weapon for taking out civilian (and certain military) aircraft with minimal personal risk. -Thomas]

Missing Iraq arms triple unaccounted-for SAMs

– Douglas Jehl, David E. Sanger, New York Times

Saturday, November 6, 2004

Washington — American intelligence agencies have tripled their formal estimate of shoulder-fired surface-to-air missile systems believed to be at large worldwide, after determining that at least 4,000 of the weapons from Iraq’s pre-war arsenals cannot be accounted for, government officials said Friday.

A new government estimate says a total of 6,000 of the weapons, known as man-portable air-defense systems, or Manpads, may be outside the control of any government, up from a previous estimate of 2,000, officials said.

The officials said they did not know whether missiles from Iraq remain there or have been smuggled into other countries, though a senior administration official said Friday that “there is no evidence that they have left the country.”

It was unclear whether Iraqi military or intelligence personnel removed the missile systems during the initial invasion of Iraq or whether they disappeared from Iraqi warehouses after major combat ended.

[… continued at link above …]

Thomas Leavitt