Serbia’s authorities are investigating reports that a cargo package bound for the US containing two missiles with explosive warheads was found in route on a passenger flight from Lebanon to Serbia and then to Portland Oregon.
Serbian media say documents listed the final destination for the AGM-114 Hellfire missiles as Portland, Oregon. The American-made projectiles can be fired from air, sea or ground platforms.
The AGM-114 Hellfire (100 lbs) was developed for precision strikes against high-value targets which can be launched from multiple air, sea, and ground platforms. It is usually used for targeted killings that have included high-profile figures such as Ahmed Yassin (Hamas leader) in 2004 by the Israeli Air Force, Anwar al-Awlaki (American-born Islamic cleric and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula leader) in Yemen in 2011.
N1 television said the package with two guided armour-piercing missiles was discovered on Saturday by a sniffer dog after an Air Serbia flight from Beirut landed at Belgrade airport.
N1 reported on Sunday that Air Serbia is helping in the investigation.
The main terror group who has a history of smuggling missiles by using civilian jets is Iran and Hezbollah.
But who is this high-profile target in the U.S., if indeed, these were the culprits, is someone Iran might want to silence. Time will tell.
However, we must also consider that the State Department has approved the sale to Lebanon for AGM-114 Hellfire II missiles and associated equipment, parts and logistical support for an estimated cost of $146 million last year.
It is also possible that an error has occurred. On February 13, last month, the United States has regained an inert but errant Hellfire air-to-ground missile that had mistakenly ended up in Cuba.
“We can say, without speaking to specifics, that the inert training missile has been returned with the cooperation of the Cuban government,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner said in a statement.
At the PORTLAND AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, there is a weapons systems evaluation. The U.S. State Department was completing its “AGM-114 Hellfire Missiles. Work will be performed at Beirut, Lebanon, and is expected to be complete by May 30, 2016”. The deal was for “$11,999,540” and “Locations of performance are Texas and Oregon, with a Dec. 31, 2017, performance completion date.”
Piecing this puzzle was easy and incompetence is not unusual these days. But this does not exclude some nefarious plans by terrorists. We shall wait and see which of my two guesses come through.