US intelligence has revealed that Islamic militants have stolen eleven aeroplanes and there are real fears of a 9/11-style attack on or around the anniversary of the devastating assault on the US.
The commercial airliners are suspected to have been stolen from Tripoli Airport last month when the Libyan Dawn rebels took control of Libya’s capital. Although the reports have yet to be officially confirmed, intelligence agencies are reportedly desperately trying to find all aircraft owned by Libya’s two state-ownd airlines, Afriqiyah Airways and Libyan Airlines.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, reports of the stolen plans have been circulating in intelligence agencies for the last fortnight. One intelligence official told the paper: “There are a number of commercial airliners in Libya that are missing. We found out on September 11 what can happen to hijacked planes.”
A Moroccan military expert, Abderrahmane Mekkaoui, spoke to Al Jazeera and said that the missing airliners were under the control of a group called the Masked Men Brigade. This Brigade is suspected of having links both to al Qaeda and the terror organisation Ansar al Sharia.
In his opinion, the area of attack could be anywhere in Northern Africa and he claimed that the Masked Men Brigade “is plotting to use the planes in attacks on a Maghreb state” on the anniversary of the 11th September terror attacks..
An expert in counter-terrorism, Sebastian Gorka said that in his opinion, the missing aircraft could be used as “super-high precision guided missiles,” in the same sort of devastating attack as 9/11. Alternatively, the planes could be used to fly large numbers of armed terrorists into locations used by commercial airlines.