The Iranian-Hezbollah MANPADS Threat

“Make no mistake; there is no doubt that Hezbollah, the acknowledged ‘A-Team’ of international islamo-fascist terrorism, has the capability to strike the interests of the United States any time, any where, on the ground or in the air.” –Sean Osborne

13 February 2007: UPDATE: Bill Gertz/Washington Times 12 Feruary 2007: “Iran arms Iraqi insurgents”

Excerpted Quote: “The detailed briefing report, titled “Iranian Support for Lethal Activity in Iraq,” stated that Iranian Misagh-1 portable anti-aircraft missiles [MANPADS] were found after a failed attempt to shoot down a plane at Baghdad’s airport in 2004. Disclosure of the Iranian provision of anti-aircraft missiles [MANPADS] comes as six U.S. helicopters have been shot down by insurgents in the past three weeks. It is not known whether Iranian missiles were used in the attacks.”

NOTE: The multitude of unsupported claims on the various jihadi internet forums are one thing, and they are what they are - unsupported claims of responsibility. However, videographic evidence of a MANPADS shootdown, as is exactly the case with the USMC CH-46E Sea Knight, is exactly what it is - stone-cold, hard evidence of a MANPADS shootdown. - Sean Osborne Click “read more” above to view complete analysis.

By Sean Osborne, Associate Director, Military Affairs

10 February 2007: In the past month, a rash of U.S. military and contractor helicopters have been shot out of the sky during combat operations in Iraq. The most recent, and fifth chopper to be shot down, was the USMC CH-46E Sea Knight in the vicinity of al-Karma, Al Anbar province. The weapon used was MANPADS (Man-Portable Air Defense System).

Based upon my research, it is a virtual certainty that the MANPADS used to bring down these US helicopters in recent days are Iranian-supplied. The weapons Iran has provided are either Chinese-made QW-1 or Iran’s own copy-cat Mithaq-1, both of which are comparable to the US-made Stinger MANPADS. It is also probable that Iran has supplied the terrorists with Russian made MANPADS such as the SA-7,Grail, SA-14 Gremlin and SA-16 Gimlet.

These developments follow on the heels of the IDF experiences in Lebanon last summer when it also suffered helicopter losses from Hezbollah’s use of Iranian-supplied MANPADS. Also based upon my own research, I have no doubt that Hezbollah has trained the Shiite al-Mahdi Army in Iraq how to use them as well.

These facts give rise to what I believe are the inevitable questions which should be asked.

1.) Given Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s statement on Thursday, 8 February, that Iran has the capability to strike U.S. interests “all over the world,” would we be remiss in not giving weighted consideration to the full capability of Iranian terrorist proxy forces to shoot MANPADS at U.S. commercial aircraft anywhere in the world?

2.) Is there any doubt that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei would make such a statement without having been briefed in-depth on the full scope Iranian proxy terrorist capabilities by Mahmud Ahmadi-Nejad and his Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps officers?

3.) Is the Hezbollah terrorist organization in Lebanon or Iraq any different than the Hezbollah cells known to exist in Dearborn, Michigan, Charlotte, North Carolina and elsewhere in the continental United States?

4.) Is the degree of difficulty in smuggling MANPADS from Iran into Iraq and Baghdad more than it is to smuggle MANPADS into the continental United States via Mexican tunnels, cloned government vehicles or the porous Canadian border?

Make no mistake; there is no doubt that Hezbollah, the acknowledged “A-Team” of international islamo-fascist terrorism, has the capability to strike the interests of the United States any time, any where, on the ground or in the air.