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U.S. sending more contractors to secure Libya’s weapons stockpile

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: October 15, 2011

For years, the proliferation of weapons has been a major concern of the U.S. government, whether it was during the fall of communism in Eastern Europe or the rise of terrorist organizations in Africa and Asia this past decade.

Add Libya to that list. With the collapse of Moammar Gadhafi’s government, the State Department is dispatching dozens of American contractors to Libya to help that country account for its stockpiles of weapons, according to an article in The New York Times. Especially worrisome are heat-seeking antiaircraft missiles that could be employed by terrorists against civilian airliners.

The contractors, weapons and explosives specialists are part of a $30 million U.S. effort to secure Libya’s arsenal, ransacked when Gadhafi was overthrown in late August, the Times reports.

American and other Western officials, the Times reports, are concerned weapons looted from Libyan stockpiles might end up on the black market as well as in the hands of terrorist groups. Analysts are particularly worried about the SA-7, an early version of the American Stinger missile.

For further insight into this growing concern regarding Libya, read the New York Times article.

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