Some sources in the world’s media are reporting the chilling news that jihadists have stolen several commercial airliners.
With the anniversary of one of the world’s worst terrorist attacks looming on September 11th, itself involving the use of stolen airplanes, the possibility of the planes being used as part of a new and equally devastating terror attack is thought to be possible.
Eleven aircraft reportedly went missing from Tripoli International Airport, which has been closed since mid-July, as fighting broke out between militia groups. Mohamed Frikha, CEO of the Tunisian airline company Syphax, told Tunisia’s Shems FM Radio that two Airbus-A320 aircraft belonging to the Libyan company Ifriqiya were also missing from Misratah.
The U.S government were allegedly made aware that the aircraft had gone missing two weeks ago though the thefts are as yet unconfirmed and there has been no official statement about the incident.
"There are a number of commercial airliners in Libya that are missing," one unnamed official told the Free Beacon. "We found out on Sept. 11 what can happen with hijacked planes."
Intelligence agencies are apparently trying to confirm the whereabouts of the missing planes, as Michael Rubin, a counterterrorism specialist with the American Enterprise Institute, warned that commercial jets in the hands of terrorists could be "devastating."
"Who needs ballistic missiles when you have passenger planes? Even empty but loaded up with fuel they can be as devastating," he said. "Each plane could, if deployed by terrorists to maximum devastating effect, represent 1,000 civilian casualties."
“What is striking is that more than a decade later, the United States hasn’t taken the need to safeguard what are effectively giant guided missiles seriously,” he added.
Rubin suggests that numerous targets, including urban areas or economic targets such as Saudi Arabia’s oil fields, could be vulnerable to attack.
“Anyone who has ever flown over Saudi Arabia at night can see refineries like Yanbu lit up like Christmas trees against the blackness of the desert,” he warned. “One Saudi security officer once told me that they would only have about 90 seconds to shoot down a hijacked plane from the time it left international airspace to impact in one of the region’s most important refineries.”
Talk of disappearing commercial airliners immediately calls to mind the still missing Malaysian airline flight MH370, which disappeared without a trace in March of this year. Speculation is still rife that the plane was taken to be used as part of a future terror attack.
Unknown Country will continue to monitor these developments closely as the anniversary of 9-11 approaches.