Security groups remain concerned about Libyan weapons

Security analysts and human rights groups are concerned with the large numbers of weapons, including chemical weapons and surface-to-air missiles, that may remain scattered across Libya after months of civil war.

Libya’s new leaders, who took over after Muammar Qaddafi was ousted more than two months ago, have several major tasks ahead of them, and groups like Human Rights Watch are beginning to pressure the National Transitional Council to leave the growing weapons problem behind, according to

“Now that the fighting has ended, one of the NTC’s top priorities should be securing weapons facilities, and bringing the unchecked flow of arms in the country under control,” Peter Bouckaert, the emergencies director for HRW, said, reports.

HRW recently issued several warnings to the NTC over possible chemical weapons and other weapons of mass destruction that were once controlled by Qaddafi and could easily fall into the hands of dangerous groups, including terrorists.

“Surface-to-air missiles can take down civilian aircraft, and the explosive weapons can be converted easily into car bombs and IEDs [improvised explosive devices or bombs] that have killed thousands in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Bouckaert said, according to

The interim government has vowed to deal with stray weaponry and the United States has sent experts along with $40 million in aid to assist in securing surface-to-air stockpiles.