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View Full Version : 200,000 U.S. AK47 Assault Rifles Stolen in Iraq


Taco John
05-10-2006, 07:51 PM
10 May 2006

HAVE 200,000 AK47S FALLEN INTO THE HANDS OF IRAQ TERRORISTS?
FEARS OVER SECRET U.S. ARMS SHIPMENT

SOME 200,000 guns the US sent to Iraqi security forces may have been smuggled to terrorists, it was feared yesterday.

The 99-tonne cache of AK47s was to have been secretly flown out from a US base in Bosnia. But the four planeloads of arms have vanished.

Orders for the deal to go ahead were given by the US Department of Defense. But the work was contracted out via a complex web of private arms traders.

And the Moldovan airline used to transport the shipment was blasted by the UN in 2003 for smuggling arms to Liberia, human rights group Amnesty has discovered.

It follows a separate probe claiming that thousands of guns meant for Iraq's police and army instead went to al-Qaeda

Amnesty chief spokesman Mike Blakemore said: "It's unbelievable that no one can account for 200,000 assault rifles. If these weapons have gone missing it's a terrifying prospect." American defense chiefs hired a US firm to take the guns, from the 90s Bosnian war, to Iraq.


But air traffic controllers in Baghdad have no record of the flights, which supposedly took off between July 2004 and July 2005. A coalition forces spokesman confirmed they had not received "any weapons from Bosnia" and added they were "not aware of any purchases for Iraq from Bosnia". Nato and US officials have already voiced fears that Bosnian arms - sold by US, British and Swiss firms - are being passed to insurgents. A Nato spokesman said: "There's no tracking mechanism to ensure they don't fall into the wrong hands. There are concerns that some may have been siphoned off." This year a newspaper claimed two UK firms were involved in a deal in which thousands of guns for Iraqi forces were re-routed to al-Qaeda.


One arms broker's lawyer is said to have admitted that nearly all of a shipment of 1,500 AK-47s went missing. And a US official said £270million of equipment could not be traced.


Meanwhile, Aerocom, the Moldovan air firm at the centre of the 200,000 missing AK47s, was stripped of its licence by its national authorities a day before the first shipment.


Two other companies in the complicated sale claim to have papers proving the guns were delivered in Iraq but refuse to show them.


Amnesty has now called on Britain to clamp down on the arms trade.


Spokeswoman Kate Allen said: "It's out of control and costing hundreds of thousands of lives every year. The UK has a real chance to do something about it when the UN meets in June."

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/tm_objectid=17055497&method=full&siteid=94762&headline=have-200-000-missing-ak47s-fallen-into-the-hands-of-iraq-terrorists---name_page.html

Taco John
05-10-2006, 07:52 PM
RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRUMSFELD!

Bowser
05-10-2006, 08:29 PM
We can't effectively wage war if our opponents aren't properly armed, Taco.

NewChief
05-10-2006, 09:15 PM
Now we're looking for mass weapons of destruction as well as weapons of mass destruction.

Boozer
05-10-2006, 09:17 PM
Now we're looking for mass weapons of destruction as well as weapons of mass destruction.

Something tells me looking for these rifles is like looking for a needle in a pile of needles.

the Talking Can
05-10-2006, 10:04 PM
we need a guns for toys program in Iraq...

penchief
05-10-2006, 10:10 PM
Something tells me looking for these rifles is like looking for a needle in a pile of needles.

It might end up more like groping for a hayseed in a needlesack.

banyon
05-10-2006, 10:19 PM
No offense, TJ, but I'll comment when I see this somewhere besides the mirror.

WilliamTheIrish
05-10-2006, 10:28 PM
We can't effectively wage war if our opponents aren't properly armed, Taco.

I must say this quote, struck me rather funny. Thanks, I needed a chuckle.

Loki
05-10-2006, 10:53 PM
classic.

Bowser
05-10-2006, 11:03 PM
I must say this quote, struck me rather funny. Thanks, I needed a chuckle.

I'm only here to help. :D

Taco John
05-11-2006, 12:04 AM
No offense, TJ, but I'll comment when I see this somewhere besides the mirror.



I don't know of any reason to doubt the veracity of the Mirror. Maybe you know something that I don't, but I've never heard anything to suggest that the Mirror makes stuff up.

Taco John
05-11-2006, 11:18 PM
US in secret gun deal

Small arms shipped from Bosnia to Iraq 'go missing' as Pentagon uses dealers

Ian Traynor in Zagreb
Friday May 12, 2006
The Guardian


The Pentagon has secretly shipped tens of thousands of small arms from Bosnia to Iraq in the past two years, using a web of private companies, at least one of which is a noted arms smuggler blacklisted by Washington and the UN.
According to a report by Amnesty International, which investigated the sales, the US government arranged for the delivery of at least 200,000 Kalashnikov machine guns from Bosnia to Iraq in 2004-05. But though the weaponry was said to be for arming the fledgling Iraqi military, there is no evidence of the guns reaching their recipient.

Senior western officials in the Balkans fear that some of the guns may have fallen into the wrong hands.
A Nato official described the trade as the largest arms shipments from Bosnia since the second world war.

The official told Amnesty: "Nato has no way of monitoring the shipments once they leave Bosnia. There is no tracking mechanism to ensure they do not fall into the wrong hands. There are concerns that some of the weapons may have been siphoned off."

European administrators in Bosnia, as well as NGOs working to oversee the stockpiling and destruction of weapons from the Bosnian war of the 1990s, are furious that the Pentagon's covert arms-to-Iraq programme has undermined the disarmament project.

"It's difficult to persuade people to destroy weapons when they're all holding back and waiting for Uncle Sam to arrive with a fistful of dollars," said Adrian Wilkinson, a former British officer overseeing a UN disarmament programme in former Yugoslavia.

The international administration running Bosnia repeatedly sought to impose an arms export moratorium, but under US pressure it was suspended several times to enable the arms shipments to go ahead. The British government is funding a programme to destroy 250,000 small arms, a legacy of the Bosnian war, but the project is faltering because people are reluctant to surrender weapons that might mean money.

Nato and European officials confirm there is nothing illegal about the Bosnian government or the Pentagon taking arms to Iraq; the problem is one of transparency and the way the arms deals have been conducted.

"There are Swiss, US and UK companies involved. The deal was organised through the embassies [in Bosnia] and the military attaché offices were involved. The idea was to get the weapons out of Bosnia where they pose a threat and to Iraq where they are needed," the Nato official said.

Mr Wilkinson said: "The problem is we haven't seen the end user."

A complex web of private firms, arms brokers and freight firms, was behind the transfer of the guns, as well as millions of rounds of ammunition, to Iraq at "bargain basement prices", according to Hugh Griffiths, Amnesty's investigator.

The Moldovan air firm which flew the cargo out of a US air base at Tuzla, north-east Bosnia, was flying without a licence. The firm, Aerocom, named in a 2003 UN investigation of the diamonds-for-guns trade in Liberia and Sierra Leone, is now defunct, but its assets and aircraft are registered with another Moldovan firm, Jet Line International.

Some of the firms used in the Pentagon sponsored deals were also engaged in illegal arms shipments from Serbia and Bosnia to Liberia and to Saddam Hussein four years ago.

"The sale, purchase, transportation and storage of the [Bosnian] weapons has been handled entirely by a complex network of private arms brokers, freight forwarders and air cargo companies operating at times illegally and subject to little or no governmental regulation," says the report.

The 120-page Amnesty report, focusing on the risks from the privatisation of state-sponsored arms sales worldwide, says arms traffickers have adapted swiftly to globalisation, their prowess aided by governments and defence establishments farming out contracts.

The US shipments were made over a year, from July 2004, via the American Eagle base at Tuzla, and the Croatian port of Ploce by the Bosnian border.

Aerocom is said to have carried 99 tonnes of Bosnian weaponry, almost entirely Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifles, in four flights from the Eagle base in August 2004, even though, under pressure from the EU, the firm had just been stripped of its operating licence by the Moldovan government because of "safety and security concerns". Amnesty said there was no available record of the guns reaching their destination.

Mr Griffiths contacted the coalition authorities in Baghdad, who denied all knowledge of any weapons purchases from Bosnia. The contracts are said to have been arranged by the military attache of the time, at the US embassy in Sarajevo. Bosnian documentation named "coalition forces in Iraq" as the end users for five arms shipments.

The Amnesty report says the command force in Iraq, the coalition group training Iraqi security forces, and the overseeing US general, had claimed "not to have ... received any weapons from Bosnia," the report says. Mr Wilkinson said: "What are the control mechanisms? How is it all verified?"

The fate of the arms cargo appears to have been buried in the miasma of contracting and subcontracting that have characterised the deals.

The Pentagon commissioned the US security firms Taos and CACI - which is known for its involvement in the Abu Ghraib prison controversy in Iraq - to orchestrate the arms purchases and shipments. They, in turn, subcontracted to a welter of firms, brokers, and shippers, involving businesses based in Britain, Switzerland, Croatia, Moldova, and Bosnia.

"The [Pentagon] and its principal US contractor, Taos, appear to have no effective systems to ensure that their contractors and subcontractors do not use firms that violate UN embargos and also do not use air cargo firms for arms deliveries that have no valid air operating certificates," Amnesty said.

Global traffic in weapons
A Dutch timber trader is in custody in Rotterdam awaiting trial on charges of complicity in crimes against humanity. Guus van Kouwenhoven was arrested last year, suspected of brokering the supply of large quantities of arms to Liberia from China in breach of a UN arms embargo.

The case is the first instance of an alleged arms trader facing trial accused of war crimes on an international scale.

For Amnesty International, the Dutch case highlights the risks emerging from the flourishing trade in largely state-sponsored arms deals where governments increasingly farm out the business to the private sector, which includes brokers, arms dealers, freight companies and shippers.

The Amnesty study points out that 35 of the world's wealthiest countries are responsible for at least 90% of the world's arms trade.

Since the end of the cold war there have been at least 50 armed conflicts worldwide, mostly in poor, "developing", countries, while the arms supplies and money fuelling these conflicts stem largely from wealthy countries.

National and international law is failing to keep up with the globalisation of the arms trade. Arms traffickers are prime beneficiaries of government-to-government business as military industries are increasingly "outsourced".

The Amnesty International UK director, Kate Allen, said: "Arms brokers and transporters have helped deliver the weapons used to commit human rights abuses all over the world. Yet only 35 states have laws to regulate brokers. Countries need to get tough ... we need an arms trade treaty to bring the whole industry under controls. The trade is out of control and costing hundreds of thousands of lives every year."


http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,,1773002,00.html

Taco John
05-11-2006, 11:19 PM
Authorities Fear Guns Shipped to Iraq Went to Insurgents

Steve Marshall Reporting
KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO


BAGHDAD (KNX) -- Fears have surfaced that as many as 200,000 AK-47s shipped by the U.S. to Iraqi security forces may have ended up in the hands of terrorists.

The Northern Ireland newspaper The Daily Mirror reports the 99-ton cache of AK47s was supposed to have been secretly flown out from a U.S. base in Bosnia. But the four planeloads of arms have since vanished.

Orders for the deal originated with the U.S. Department of Defense. But the work was contracted out via a complex web of private arms traders.

And the Moldovan airline used to transport the shipment was criticized by the United Nations in 2003 for smuggling arms to Liberia, a fact uncovered by human rights group Amnesty International.

Amnesty chief spokesman Mike Blakemore said: "It's unbelievable that no one can account for 200,000 assault rifles. If these weapons have gone missing it's a terrifying prospect." American defense chiefs hired an American firm to take the guns from the 90s Bosnian war, to Iraq. However, flights, which supposedly took off between July 2004 and July 2005 were not recorded by air traffic controllers in Baghdad.

A spokesman for the coalition forces confirmed they had not received "any weapons from Bosnia" and added they were "not aware of any purchases for Iraq from Bosnia". NATO and U.S. officials have already voiced fears that Bosnian arms - sold by US, British and Swiss firms - are being passed to insurgents.

A NATO spokesman said: "There's no tracking mechanism to ensure they don't fall into the wrong hands. There are concerns that some may have been siphoned off."

Two other companies in the complicated sale claim to have papers proving the guns were delivered in Iraq but refuse to show them.


http://www.knx1070.com/pages/34518.php

Taco John
05-11-2006, 11:21 PM
If Rumsfeld isn't fired for this... Then there's absolutely nothing that will get the man fired.

go bowe
05-11-2006, 11:44 PM
aw, c'mon...

cheney would never fire rummy... :shake: :shake: :shake:

Taco John
05-11-2006, 11:46 PM
I think Remsfeld is smoking gun proof that Bush has no real control and is merely a puppet of a larger organization. I just can't come up with any other explination on why a president would allow a bumbling Defense Secretary drag his approval ratings so low without taking action to stem the bleeding.

Loki
05-12-2006, 01:26 AM
If Rumsfeld isn't fired for this... Then there's absolutely nothing that will get the man fired.
TJ,
what makes you think rumsfeld is the central core of this whole issue?
i've read the articles you've posted and it has said nothing about the
man. it mentions "defense chiefs" which could be any number of people,
and it also mentions the "pentagon" which again could be any number of
people.

certainly someone like rumsfeld isn't aware of everything that goes on
in the pentagon or the DoD, etc... just like the president (ANY president)
is aware of all that is going on in the NSA, CIA, FBI, Pentagon, DoD, etc.
it just isn't possible.


before you jump all over my case saying that i'm sticking up for rumsfeld
i am saying for the record that i'm NOT sticking up for him. i am just
curious how you have come to that conclusion that it's all his fault.
:shrug:

Taco John
05-12-2006, 02:00 AM
Does the title "Secretary of Defense" ring a bell?

Where else does the buck stop than the person at the top who is heading up the effort to use third parties for crucial war operations?

We just lost 200,000 AK47s of our own that will soon be used to shoot at our own, and yes, you're jumping in front of Rumsfeld to protect him from due criticism. The guy has been a disaster for this country... a complete disgrace.

Loki
05-12-2006, 03:40 AM
Does the title "Secretary of Defense" ring a bell?

Where else does the buck stop than the person at the top who is heading up the effort to use third parties for crucial war operations?

We just lost 200,000 AK47s of our own that will soon be used to shoot at our own, and yes, you're jumping in front of Rumsfeld to protect him from due criticism. The guy has been a disaster for this country... a complete disgrace.
wow... having a bad day jackass?

i am not "protecting" rumsfeld. i have never protected rumsfeld. in fact, i have been quite critical of some of his decisions on the handling of the war. but apparently you're overlooking this tonight. i'll let this slide for purposes of having you answer my questions and following my train of thought.

before i start, you've made some mistakes in your reply to me.
- first, it isn't just the US involved who decided to involve 3rd party contractors to procure and deliver the deal.
- second, the AK's are not our own. they belonged to the bosnians to begin with, the UN is aware of their procurement, and other nations (besides the US) are involved in the process.
- third, i am not protecting rumsfeld dumbass. i am asking the thread starter a legitimate question about the thread, the contents of the thread and why the thread starter's liberal ass decided to call out rumsfeld when he could have also called out tony blair, koffi annan or joseph deiss. (did you even read your articles?)
- fourth you insist that the missing weapons are shooting at our own troops when nobody including you, me and rumsfeld know where the f*ck they are.

can i continue with my questions/points now?

facts from your articles:

1. there is no confirmation that the rifles are actually in the hands of insurgents.
Fears have surfaced that as many as 200,000 AK-47s shipped by the U.S. to Iraqi security forces may have ended up in the hands of terrorists.

2. there is actually no confirmation that they are even in iraq.
the 99-ton cache of AK47s was supposed to have been secretly flown out from a U.S. base in Bosnia
However, flights, which supposedly took off between July 2004 and July 2005 were not recorded by air traffic controllers in Baghdad.

ok, for all we know, the arms could have gone to liberia and sold for a higher price. they were procured in bosnia from a disarmament program being run by the UN. they were being shipped by a moldovan airline that is actually a dummy corporation (because they already lost their license due to another arms deal brokered by the dutch, chinese and liberians.)


The Moldovan air firm which flew the cargo out of a US air base at Tuzla, north-east Bosnia, was flying without a licence. The firm, Aerocom, named in a 2003 UN investigation of the diamonds-for-guns trade in Liberia and Sierra Leone, is now defunct, but its assets and aircraft are registered with another Moldovan firm, Jet Line International.


there are several players in this deal... UN, US, UK, swiss, bosnian, moldovan and croatian. businessmen, politicians, military, contractors etc etc.


NATO and U.S. officials have already voiced fears that Bosnian arms - sold by US, British and Swiss firms


There are Swiss, US and UK companies involved. The deal was organised through the embassies [in Bosnia] and the military attaché offices were involved. The idea was to get the weapons out of Bosnia where they pose a threat and to Iraq where they are needed


...They, in turn, subcontracted to a welter of firms, brokers, and shippers, involving businesses based in Britain, Switzerland, Croatia, Moldova, and Bosnia.


you can thrash rumsfeld all you want dude, be my guest. he's made a lot of mistakes... but this deal is all about cash. according to your articles, the best guesses are that the arms never even made it to iraq, there were more parties involved besides the US, and that the paper trail ended at the subcontractor level.

the question is, TJ, of all the players in this deal, who stands to make the most cash? the second part to that question is where is that particular group going to make the most cash selling the arms?

i just don't think that ragtag insurgents can come up with the cash for that size of a deal.
if the insurgents do have the weapons, then it is my belief that they captured them (if they even made it into iraq to begin with).

patteeu
05-12-2006, 07:23 AM
If Rumsfeld isn't fired for this... Then there's absolutely nothing that will get the man fired.

Other than Amnesty International, who says that they are missing (as opposed to saying they might be missing)? In fact, is there anyone who is involved in this deal who has said that they don't know where the guns are? For all we (or Amnesty International) know, these guns might never have been headed for Iraq in the first place. It's way premature to be calling for Rumsfeld's head over this.

Radar Chief
05-12-2006, 08:07 AM
Other than Amnesty International, who says that they are missing (as opposed to saying they might be missing)? In fact, is there anyone who is involved in this deal who has said that they don't know where the guns are? For all we (or Amnesty International) know, these guns might never have been headed for Iraq in the first place. It's way premature to be calling for Rumsfeld's head over this.

I wonder if they’re headed here? I’ve always wanted one of those. Should’ve bought one back in the early ‘90s when they were ‘round $300 for a good one. Last I checked you couldn’t touch one now for twice that.

Loki
05-12-2006, 11:10 AM
I wonder if they’re headed here? I’ve always wanted one of those. Should’ve bought one back in the early ‘90s when they were ‘round $300 for a good one. Last I checked you couldn’t touch one now for twice that.

maybe they're being sent to the minutemen who are patrolling our borders to the south... :shrug:

Brock
05-12-2006, 11:47 AM
I wonder if they’re headed here? I’ve always wanted one of those. Should’ve bought one back in the early ‘90s when they were ‘round $300 for a good one. Last I checked you couldn’t touch one now for twice that.

SKS is just as good, IMO.

NewChief
05-12-2006, 12:45 PM
SKS is just as good, IMO.

My brother's SKS came in a crate, packed in some kind of grease. Fun gun, but it was a pain getting all that grease off of it.

Radar Chief
05-12-2006, 12:56 PM
My brother's SKS came in a crate, packed in some kind of grease. Fun gun, but it was a pain getting all that grease off of it.

Cosmoline (rust preventative grease). That’s how I got mine also.
They used to be dirt cheap in the early ‘90s, I should’a got two.

The SKS is the Kansas brush Whitetail slayer from hell too, let me tell ya.
At the range, at least, I can consistently knock off 500 yard targets, though I’ve never taken a shot at a deer from more than maybe 200 yards.

Radar Chief
05-12-2006, 12:58 PM
SKS is just as good, IMO.

The AK just looks and feels like a more solidly crafted riffle. That and I’ve already got a chit ton of 7.62X39 ammo for my SKS.

NewChief
05-12-2006, 01:10 PM
The SKS is the Kansas brush Whitetail slayer from hell too, let me tell ya.
At the range, at least, I can consistently knock off 500 yard targets, though I’ve never taken a shot at a deer from more than maybe 200 yards.

That's what he bought his for, too. On nasty days when he'd be slogging through the brush and climbing barbed wire fences, he didn't really want to take out his really nice .270. Of course, the bayonet looks a little funny on a deer rifle.

Radar Chief
05-12-2006, 01:17 PM
That's what he bought his for, too. On nasty days when he'd be slogging through the brush and climbing barbed wire fences, he didn't really want to take out his really nice .270. Of course, the bayonet looks a little funny on a deer rifle.

Exactly, it’s a rifle you don’t mind slog’n through the mud, scratch’n on barbed wire, hedge or worse locus, and still have the confidence that even dirty you can chamber a round and accurately fire it.
My bayonet got removed in favor of a muzzle brake. Not much good for deer hunt’n but at the range it helps me stay on target easier since it deadens the barrel jump from recoil.