Please Help New English Review
For our donors from the UK:
New English Review
New English Review Facebook Group
Follow New English Review On Twitter
Recent Publications from New English Review Press
Islam Through the Looking Glass: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J. B. Kelly, Vol. 3
edited by S. B. Kelly
The Real Nature of Religion
by Rebecca Bynum
As Far As The Eye Can See
by Moshe Dann
Threats of Pain and Ruin
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Oil Cringe of the West: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly Vol. 2
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Impact of Islam
by Emmet Scott
Sir Walter Scott's Crusades and Other Fantasies
by Ibn Warraq
Fighting the Retreat from Arabia and the Gulf: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly. Vol. 1
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Literary Culture of France
by J. E. G. Dixon
Hamlet Made Simple and Other Essays
by David P. Gontar
Farewell Fear
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Eagle and The Bible: Lessons in Liberty from Holy Writ
by Kenneth Hanson
The West Speaks
interviews by Jerry Gordon
Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy
Emmet Scott
Anything Goes
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Left is Seldom Right
by Norman Berdichevsky
Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion
by Rebecca Bynum

Tuesday, 26 February 2013
Libyan Weapons Not Only In Mali, But Also In The Sinai


Covert auctions in Egypt put arms that freed Libya into hands of terrorists

  • sinai3.jpg

    Egyptian security forces arrest militants after a firefight in Egypt’s north Sinai region last year. Weapons once used in Libya are finding their way into the region, say Israel Defense Force sources. (Reuters)

  • Sinai2.jpg

    Terrorists with links to Al Qaeda and Hamas drive in for the clandestine arms auctions. (Reuters)

  • sinai1.jpeg

    The mountains and desert of Sinai provide a rugged backdrop for the illicit arms auctions. (Reuters)

  • sinai.jpg

    An estimated 250,000 Bedouins live in the lawless Sinai desert, where weapons used in Libya are sold at auctions. (Reuters)

The weapons that helped Libyan rebels oust dictator Muammar Qaddafi are turning up for sale at clandestine auctions in Egypt’s lawless Sinai Desert, where shadowy buyers purchase firearms for Al Qaeda and Hamas operatives, sources told

The illicit sales take place in the barren Sinai peninsula, where Moses is believed to have wandered with the children of Israel for 40 years. Auctions announced through the grapevine bring caravans of foreigners, all with huge sums of money at their disposal and all with the same mission, Israel Defense Force sources told

The vast and rugged desert area inhabited by an estimated 250,000 Bedouins has borders with Egypt, Gaza and Israel, as well as a long coastline on the Red Sea. While the location makes it easy for buyers to come from various regions, it also combines with the impromptu nature of the auctions to make them almost impossible to stop.

“There are more and more contacts between Al Qaeda and the small groups in Sinai,” a senior source in the Israel Defense Force told the Washington-based Investigative Project on Terrorism.

“There are more and more contacts between Al Qaeda and the small groups in Sinai.”

- Senior source in the Israel Defense Force

The hosts of these auctions aren’t just doing it for the money, the source said. Al Qaeda-linked jihadists are becoming more and more influential in the region, and playing a large role in who shows up for the auctions and who leaves with the bombs, anti-tank missiles, rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons that are peddled there.

“If at the beginning we saw these tribes supporting terror cells for the sake of money, now we see it becoming more an ideological support, and we see more and more cases that these groups of Al Qaeda-influenced extreme jihadists are becoming more powerful than the tribes," the source said.

With Libya rendered an unstable tribal nation rife with internal power struggles between secular moderates and radical Islamists in the wake of Qaddafi’s ouster, accountability for weapons in the north African country is impossible. The U.S., which denies directly supplying arms to the Libyan rebels, is concerned about weapons being sold in the region.

“The potential for proliferation and smuggling of unsecured small arms and weapons in the region is a concern to the U.S. government and the international community,” a U.S. State Department official told

The New York Times reported in December 2012 that the Obama administration secretly gave its blessing to arms shipments to Libyan rebels from Qatar, only to express alarm when evidence mounted that Qatar was turning some of the weapons over to Islamic militants.

Qatar, strong supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, may well have been playing both sides of the game, as the U.S official strongly hinted to The New York Times. The weapons being auctioned in the Sinai desert almost certainly include many sent by Qatar to Libya, a disturbing consequence that had been flagged early by some American officials.

The weapons don’t always travel too far before they are deployed. A violent ambush by Islamist rebels from Sinai on an Israeli bus and a civilian car near Eilat, in August 2011, killed eight Israelis and got the attention of IDF officials. The bombs, anti-tank missiles and automatic weapons used in the attack were more sophisticated than typically seen, and the fleeing terrorists fired an RPG at an Israeli helicopter pursuing them.

The State Department official who spoke to said the U.S. is working with Libya to contain weapons, and with Egypt to stop their spread once they make it to the desert.

“The Libyan government has assured us that security is its No. 1 priority,” the official said. “We remain concerned about the security situation in the Sinai, and continue to engage with the Egyptian government about this issue. We believe the Egyptian government recognizes potential threats from the Sinai as well. Securing the Sinai is vital to peace in the region.”

Under President Mohamed Morsi, Egypt has started to take action against the radical jihadists, including Hamas, which ironically is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood that propelled Morsi into office. Stopping the spread of the weapons originating from Libya is no diplomatic issue – it is in Egypt’s own interest.

Last August, 16 Egyptian border police were surprised in the night and killed by terrorists attacking from Sinai who went on to breach the Israeli border before six of the attackers were killed by Israeli forces. The fact that Egyptian forces were targeted demonstrated that for hard-core Al Qaeda-inspired Islamists, even the Muslim Brotherhood is not radical enough and is viewed as the enemy.

Egypt has been increasingly intercepting weapons in the Sinai over the last month, including the interdiction of two tons of weapons bound for the Gaza Strip two weeks ago. Egyptian forces have also flooded as many as 200 smuggling tunnels into the Hamas-governed strip, making weapons deliveries significantly harder.

Morsi’s efforts have Israeli security services mildly encouraged, although Egypt alone may not be able to neutralize the proliferation of Qatari-supplied weapons that originally reached Libya with tacit U.S. approval. And the threat of those weapons being turned on U.S. and other Western citizens in the Middle East and potentially around the globe remains.

Posted on 02/26/2013 12:23 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
26 Feb 2013
Christina McIntosh

 And if Israel were still in control of the Sinai, all the way from Gaza to the Suez ; if Israel had not been forced, by the stupid and/ or malevolent, to give the Sinai back to Muslim Egypt, then this problem would be a great deal smaller, and much more manageable.  

Guns, Germs and Steel in Tanzania
The Thinking Person's Safari
Led by Geoffrey Clarfield
Most Recent Posts at The Iconoclast
Search The Iconoclast
Enter text, Go to search:


The Iconoclast Posts by Author
The Iconoclast Archives
sun mon tue wed thu fri sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31