Category Archive 'AQIM'

26 Mar 2011

Al-Qaeda Has Acquired SAM-7s and Heavy Weapons in Libya

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Nicarauguan Army training with SAM-7

The Australian Daily Telegraph reports that the uprising in Libya has produced a weapons windfall for the North African al-Qaeda branch, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

Al-Qaeda’s offshoot in North Africa has snatched surface-to-air missiles from an arsenal in Libya during the civil strife there, Chad’s President says.

Idriss Deby Itno did not say how many surface-to-air missiles were stolen, but told the African weekly Jeune Afrique that he was “100 per cent sure” of his assertion.

“The Islamists of al-Qaeda took advantage of the pillaging of arsenals in the rebel zone to acquire arms, including surface-to-air missiles, which were then smuggled into their sanctuaries in Tenere,” a desert region of the Sahara that stretches from northeast Niger to western Chad, Deby said in the interview.

“This is very serious. AQIM is becoming a genuine army, the best equipped in the region,” he said.

His claim was echoed by officials in other countries in the region who said that they were worried that al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) might have acquired “heavy weapons”, thanks to the insurrection. …

“We have the same information,” about heavy weapons, including SAM 7 missiles, a military source from Niger said.

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