20,000 Russian SA-7 Strela Missing from Libyan Arsenals
If you were never worried about Libya, you should be now. Especially if you fly in Europe, Africa or the Middle East. Why?
Libya is in free fall with diverse groups attempting to secure items and weapons. Every city there has a weapon arsenal and nearly every one has been looted. Some 20,000 Russian SA-7 to SA-24 missiles are now missing. These can be fired by one man and take down aircraft flying at 11,000 ft or up to 3.5 miles. These weapons sell for $1000 each on the black market and there is little doubt terrorists groups will be able to buy them and probably already have. The weapons are in very high demand by nefarious groups seeking to shoot down aircraft. many of the senior al-Qaeda leaders are Libyans with contacts there that would sell these weapons.
If Libya has 20,000 such weapons, there must be triple that amount in missiles used as ammunition to the launcher. The launcher can fire from virtually anywhere with little detection and hard for commercial airliners to avoid. A direct hit will down the aircraft. Modern fighters can evade and detect them in their approach, but civilian airliners are helpless. Within minutes of firing one missile, another can be fired from the same launcher at the same or different aircraft within range.
Even if a majority of the launchers are recovered, even a few thousand in terrorists hands could decimate many airliners and you know most of them will not be recovered because they can easily be hidden, they are not that large.