“Arab Spring”: AQIM terrorists have surface to air missile launchers smuggled from Lybia.
African Security News .- sa7 grail
Recently french soldiers and AP, recovered a manual in Timbuktu (Northern Mali) with a detailed guide , with diagrams and photographs, on how to use a soviet made SA-7 surface-to-air missile launcher weapon. This launcher, if used, is capable of taking down a commercial airplane or helicopters.
The manual was recovered in a building that had been occupied by al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb AQIM in Timbuktu, and it confirms that the AQIM is actively training its fighters to use these weapons, also called man-portable air-defense systems, or MANPADS, which likely came from the arms depots of ex-Libyan strongman Col. Moammar Gadhafi.
The manual was originally produced by Bin Laden. French troops seized such a launcher in Mali, and it could be more in the hands of the terrorists.
The SA-7 is an old soviet generation model, which means most military planes now come equipped with a built-in protection mechanism against it. But that’s not the case for commercial planes, and the threat is greatest to civilian aviation. Its range is of 1.4 miles (2.3 kilometers) from the ground, specially dangerous for commercial flights departing or landing in airports.