The U.S. has been unable to secure thousands of potentially dangerous shoulder-fired missiles known as "MANPADS" that were leftover from the Qaddafi regime in Libya, CBS News has learned. MANPADS stands for "Man-portable air-defense systems." According to a well-placed source, hundreds of the missiles have been tracked as having gone to Al Qaeda Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), an Algeria-based Sunni Muslim terrorist group fighting for control in Mali. "I would imagine they're trying to get their hands on as many weapons such as MANPADS as they can," says CBS News national security consultant Juan Zarate. "It's a danger both to the military conflict underway in Mali and a real threat to civilian aircraft if, in fact, terrorists have their hands on these MANPADS."ISIS -WHICH NOW CONTROLS THE COAST OF LIBYA - HAS THREATENED TO INVADE EUROPE FROM LIBYA:
THE DAILY BEAST 2/17/15:
Last weekend in Italy, as the threat of ISIS in Libya hit home with a new video addressed to “the nation signed with the blood of the cross” and the warning, “we are south of Rome,” Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi shuttered the Italian embassy in Tripoli and raised his fist with the threat of impending military action. Never mind that Italy has only 5,000 troops available that are even close to deployable, according to the defense ministry. Or that the military budget was cut by 40 percent two years ago, which has kept the acquisition of 90 F-35 fighter jets hanging in the balance and left the country combat-challenged to lead any mission—especially one against an enemy like the Islamic State.THE TELEGRAPH:
Islamic State militants are planning a takeover of Libya as a "gateway" to wage war across the whole of southern Europe, letters written by the group's supporters have revealed. The jihadists hope to flood the north African state with militiamen from Syria and Iraq, who will then sail across the Mediterranean posing as migrants on people trafficking vessels, according to plans seen by Quilliam, the British anti-extremist group.NYPOST:
The fighters would then run amok in southern European cities and also try to attack maritime shipping. The document is written by an Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) propagandist who is believed to be an important online recruiter for the terror in Libya, where security has collapsed in the wake of the revolution that unseated Colonel Gaddafi in 2011. The group has already established Libyan-based cells, who on Sunday released a video showing a mass beheading of 21 Egyptian Christian guest workers .
The video, which prompted Egypt to launch retaliatory bombing raids on Isil positions in Libya, included footage of a khaki-clad militant pointing a bloodstained finger northwards, declaring: "We will conquer Rome, by Allah's permission." The Isil propagandist, who uses the alias Abu Arhim al-Libim, describes Libya as having "immense potential" for Isil. He points out with relish that it is awash with weapons from the Libyan civil war, when large quantities of Col Gaddafi's arsenals were appropriated by rebels.
“Something triggered a descent,” Paul Hayes, director of safety at London-based Ascend, an aviation-data provider, told Bloomberg News. “They’ll want to know whether that’s to do with the aircraft, with some external event, with the crew or with a combination of all of those. And they’ll want to know why the descent wasn’t stopped.”WITNESSES NEAR THE CRASH SIGHT ARE REPORTED TO HAVE HEARD MORE THAN FEW STRANGE LOAD SOUNDS - ONE SAID HE THOUGHT IT WAS A FIGHTER JET.
WERE THESE SOUNDS THE NOISE OF SHOULDER-LAUNCHED MISSILES?
I THINK THIS IS A POSSIBILITY BECAUSE THERE WAS NO DISTRESS CALL FROM THE COCKPIT; WHATEVER HAPPENED OCCURRED SUDDENLY AND GAVE THE COCKPIT CREW NO TIME TO SEND A MAYDAY.
THAT MIGHT BE A SHOULDER-LAUNCHED MISSILE.
UPDATE: NYTIMES 3/25/15:
Speaking on the French radio station RTL, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said on Wednesday that terrorism was “not a privileged hypothesis at the moment” but that no theories had been definitively excluded.STAY TUNED...