This was the title of an article by Rachel Ehrenfeld in the February 17 issue of Aviation Week and Space Technology which caught my eye because it pointed out the danger of SAMs.
This article caught my interest since the Saudi Arabians have indicated they were going to supply Syrian rebels with SAMs.
Highlights of the article follow:
"Gen. (ret.)David Petraeus recently issued a serious warning about the international threats posed by shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles (SAM), also known as man-portable air-defense systems (Manpads)}, in the hands of Al Qaeda and other terrorists.
After rebels killed Moammar Gadhafi in Libya in 2011, 20,000 Manpads went missing. Months later, only 5,000 reportedly had been destroyed. Where the remaining missiles are is unclear. While the Obama administration issued a statment assuring Americans that most of Libya's weapons, including Manpads, have been secured. NATO's then-military committee chairman adm. Giamaolo di paola, was not so sure. His fear that theLibyan Manpads could be scattered from Kenya to Kunduz [Afgahnistant]."
The article then goes on to describe that if a Manpad was smuggled by Hzbollah into the United States via Mexico and fired at any of the 7000 aircraft in the civilian fleet, the struggling US economy could be devastated in a flash. The threat of Manpads is a real and present threat to US commercial aviation
I for one do not want to be on an aircraft hit by a missile. I hope that the government is taking adequate safeguards. It doesn't seem to be able to stop the laser light attacks on commercial aircraft.