Skip to comments.Are American weapons being used by jihadists in the Sinai?
Posted on 07/30/2013 1:42:07 AM PDT by Brad from Tennessee
Since the ouster of Mohammed Morsi from the presidency of Egypt on July 3, there has been a noticeable uptick in the number of attacks against security personnel and installations in the Sinai Peninsula. Eight army checkpoints were attacked on Monday alone, according to Ma'an News Agency.
New claims from Egypt's Interior Ministry suggest that in an attack over the weekend, a US-made missile may have been fired by militants at a security installation in el Arish.
The Times of Israel reports:
Jihadists attacked the Egyptian security headquarters in northern Sinai ostensibly using an American-made ballistic missile, Egypt's interior ministry said early Monday morning.
In a statement posted on its official Facebook page, the ministry said the missile, which it said was made by the US, hit the third floor of the building in the city of el-Arish on Sunday evening, injuring three soldiers.
Along with its statement, the Interior Ministry released three photos of the alleged missile, which appears to be labeled as an AGM-114F. . .
(Excerpt) Read more at longwarjournal.org ...
“Something strange about the debris. “.
I thought the same thing.
No doubt weapons received by way of Benghazi.
AGM-11 is a Hellfire missile I believe. Seems like the tail end would be more damaged. I think it is a staged photo. Not saying we are or are not supplying arms to either side.
Did we give surplus Pershing missiles to Egypt?
Hellfires carry an 18-pound shaped charge as they are primarily anti-armor. This may explain why the debris is intact and the markings are legible. But I'm guessing.
May be legit. Just looks wrong. Can’t put my finger on it.
AGM indicates. Air to Ground Missile. The rest of the designation I can’t read on my smart phone. I remember the AGM from my laptop. It seemed to be a hellfire. I don’t know if there is a hand held launcher.
Posted by LPD-RI at July 30, 2013 10:09 PM ET:
As far as my speculation on how the militants acquired and targeted a Hellfire: it is certainly an interesting and troubling question, and raises other questions. But the possibility of errant targeting by a friendly Egyptian Air Force AH-64 seems the most likely answer.
The initial question (if the story is taken at face value) is if the missile was stolen from Egyptian Air Force stocks, as the EAF operates a large number (47) of AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, and the Hellfire is the Apache's primary weapon. Considering the clear “US” stenciling on the midsection of the missile, it would raise big alarm bells as to where this missile was stolen from: Was it a rogue element in the Egyptian Air Force that provided the missile to a terror group? Did simple security incompetence at a local EAF installation allow terrorists to sneak in and steal one or more Hellfires?
There is also no doubt in my mind that, if this missile was indeed used in the attack by a terror group, it was fired from the ground. Considering the effort and technical expertise that would need to be expended by a terror group to create a stable mount for firing the missile, the likelihood of friendly fire by an Egyptian AH-64 seems to grow. That likelihood grows further if the insignificant target is considered: why, if terrorists had a powerful missile that could hit anything (even a moving target), would they target a small-time local security installation in the Sinai?
Further, the AGM-114F is a Semi-Active Laser homing missile, meaning its target needs to be illuminated by laser. I don't know, however, exactly what type of laser must be used for the seeker in the missile to track it. Are there algorithms in the missile to only track a certain type or power of laser? I highly doubt a laser pointer bought at the local Egyptian Wal-Mart would be sufficient to guide a Hellfire, so it begs the question: where did militants acquire a Hellfire AND a high-powered target designating laser, and the skills to use it?
Needless to say, if terrorist groups have A) stolen other Hellfires from EAF, and B) have the ability to transport and target them, it would raise a huge new and rather alarming threat on the Sinai.
With the scant facts available, I would lean towards a ‘friendly-fire’ scenario: an Egyptain Apache, in error, hit a local Egyptian security installation, and the local government posted the evidence on Facebook before the national government could stop them.
Posted by LPD-RI at July 30, 2013 10:33 PM ET:
One last note: the Hellfire had been adapted for use on the Humvee and other armored vehicles. Therefore it is possible that the vehicle and/or weapon were stolen from Egyptian army stocks.
It is also possible that a pro-Morsi defector/traitor was involved, which would explain the expertise necessary to successfully target the weapon.