Today’s Questions for the President

by Peter Kirsanow

The U.N. envoy to Libya reports that weapons depots in that country remain unguarded and large amounts of weaponry have gone missing, including thousands of shoulder-fired missiles. At least two sites contain chemical weapons and nuclear material, including approximately 7,000 drums of uranium. Assistant Secretary of State Andrew Shapiro says terrorist groups have expressed interest in obtaining the missiles, which “could pose a threat to civil aviation.”

The Daily Telegraph reports that Libyan rebel leader Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi has admitted that a significant number of the Libyan rebels consisted of al-Qaeda fighters, many of whom fought U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Numerous news outlets report that in the last two weeks, scores of al-Qaeda flags have been raised over Benghazi and throughout Libya, including over the headquarters of the Libyan rebels.

Given the evident allegiances and sympathies of many of the Libyan rebels, what is the probability that al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups will acquire, or already have acquired, at least some of the missing Libyan weapons?

Do we have any basis for determining how many of the chemical weapons and drums of uranium are missing?

Is Libya a lesser threat to U.S. security now than it was a year ago, or is it a greater one?

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