WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Senate today unanimously accepted a bipartisan amendment to the FY 2012 Defense Authorization bill that urges greater action by the Obama Administration to keep Libya’s stockpile of about 20,000 portable anti-aircraft missiles, known as MANPADS, out of the hands of terrorists who wish to do harm to Americans. U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs, cosponsored the amendment.
“It is essential that the U.S. work with its allies to ensure that weapons from the war in Libya do not end up in the hands of terrorists,” said Senator Casey. “Shoulder launched missiles pose an extremely dangerous threat to commercial aircraft across the middle east, including to our ally Israel. I was proud to be an original cosponsor of this important amendment which will enhance the safety of those flying internationally.”
The amendment specifically charges the Administration to conduct an urgent intelligence assessment of the threat these missile pose to the American people and our allies. It also requires the President to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to mitigate this threat.
The amendment was coauthored by Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee and a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), member of the Senate Armed Services and Senate Foreign Relations Committees.