U.S. officials said on Wednesday that a huge cache of American weapons stolen in Libya over the summer was far larger than once thought. The weapons are now with al-Qaida and other terrorist groups linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, according to news reports
"The theft of these weapons and the open borders are feeding al-Qaida and the Muslim Brotherhood and threatens Libya's neighbors as well," one official told Fox News
. "It's already bad — and now it's really bad."
The highly sensitive military equipment was stolen in overnight raids on a military training post used by U.S. Special Forces outside Tripoli.
The 12-member team was pulled from Libya in August because of the thefts.
"It's not just equipment ... it's the capability," the official told Fox on Wednesday. "You are giving these very dangerous groups the capability that only a few nations are capable of.
"Already, assassinations are picking up in Tripoli and there are major worries that the militias are using this stolen equipment to their advantage," the official added. "All these militias are tied into terrorist organizations."
The missing equipment now includes dozens of highly armored vehicles, called GMVs, State Department and military sources, who asked not to be named, told Fox. Outfitted with GPS technology, the vehicles have weapon mounts and can accommodate smoke-grenade launchers, they said.
The vehicles that were provided to the Libyan rebels are now gone, the officials told Fox.
In addition, about 100 Glock pistols and more than 100 M4 rifles are missing, Fox reports, but the officials said they were most troubled at the discovery that nearly every set of night-vision goggles the U.S. forces had at the training post were also taken.
This advanced technology provides an edge on the battlefield,
they told Fox.
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