By Patrick Poole
A stunning story out of Egypt on Friday (HT: Jonathan Schanzer at FDD) after a raid in northern Sinai uncovered a cache of anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles bound for Hamas-controlled Gaza. The discovery was made in Be’r al-Hefn near Arish in an area known as a transit point for materials headed for the smuggling tunnels running from Sinai into Gaza.
The most remarkable part of the story is that the missiles were American-made, arriving from Libya according to multiple reports.
Egypt Independent reported:
The North Sinai Security Director seized a shipment of advanced anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles at dawn on Friday.
The directorate received a tip that the missiles were being secretly stored in a repository in Be’r al-Hefn — just south of Arish, the capital of North Sinai — and would be smuggled through tunnels to the Gaza Strip, said a security source.
After informing the Interior Ministry in Cairo, two assistants to the interior minster led a large formation of police in a raid on the area. Be’r al-Hefn has often been used as an illegal storage area for explosives and weapons.
“With the help of secret informants, the police found the storage site, where they found six US-made advanced missiles inside large holes in the ground [that were waiting to be] smuggled to the Gaza Strip through tunnels,” the source said.
He said the shipment likely originated in Libya, and that the range of the rockets was 2 km.
That US-made weapons are finding their way from Libya should be of grave concern for American security officials. Presumably these are weapons provided by the Obama administration to the Libyan rebels in their fight against Gaddafi in 2011.
US weapons have also made their way to Syria via Libya with active US assistance according to reports. In October, Russia accused the US of sending Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to Syria, a claim that Defense Secretary Panetta denied.
Back in August I noted here at PJ Media the New York Times caught scrubbing one of its stories of any mention of CIA funneling arms to the Syrian rebels.
This is not the first time that US missiles have been bound for Gaza and Hamas. During Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in January 2009, Hamas attempted to use American-made Stinger missiles they had acquired against Israel’s AH-64 ‘Apache’ helicopters to no effect since the weapons system identified the Israeli aircraft as friendly.
A Maan News Agency report on yesterday’s raid noted that authorities had recovered 17 French missiles several weeks ago in the same area.