Eric Schmitt and Kareem Fahim
New York Times
October 15, 2011
The State Department is sending dozens of American contractors to Libya to help that country’s fledgling efforts to track down and destroy heat-seeking antiaircraft missiles looted from government stockpiles that could be used against civilian airliners.
The contractors, weapons and explosives specialists, are part of a growing $30 million American program to secure Libya’s conventional weapons arsenal, which was ransacked during the fall of the government of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi.
American and other Western officials are especially concerned that as weapons slip from state custody, they can be easily sold through black markets to other countries, fueling regional wars or arming terrorist groups. Analysts are particularly worried about the dispersal of the SA-7, an early-generation, shoulder-fired missile in the same family as the more widely known Stinger.
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