The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) announces the release of the newest edition of Missile Watch, a quarterly publication produced by the Arms Sales Monitoring Project.
Missile Watch tracks the illicit proliferation and use of shoulder-fired, surface-to-air missiles and international efforts to combat this threat.
The newest issue of Missile Watch highlights a number of very critical issues and developments, all of which have potentially profound implications for international security. Key stories include:
* FAS has confirmed that a planeload of North Korean weapons seized in Thailand contained five crates of MANPADS. The information, which was included in a recent Thai government report, appears to confirm North Korea as an illicit source of shoulder-fired, surface-to-air missiles.
* A long-awaited report on the feasibility of installing anti-missile systems on commercial airliners will be delivered to Congress this month, FAS has learned. Congress’ reaction to the report will reveal whether lawmakers still favor equipping US airliners with the systems – a multi-billion dollar proposal.
* The UN Security Council recently placed an arms embargo on Eritrea. Eritrea is a source of dozens, possibly hundreds, of surface-to-air missiles to the militant Somali group, al Shebab. A spokesman for al Shebab announced their intentions to come to the aid of the al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen, which was responsible for the recent failed Christmas day attack on a US-bound airliner.
* Recent reports suggest most armed groups continue to rely on older first and second generation infra-red seeking missiles. These missiles are often more difficult to use and have a greater chance of malfunctioning.
To read the full Issue of Missile Watch, click here.