Associated Retired Aviation Professionals

August 25, 1996     Times of London

U.S. officials are investigating reports that Islamic terrorists have
smuggled Stinger ground-to-air missiles into the United States from Pakistan.
Senior Iranian sources close to the fundamentalist regime in Tehran claimed
this weekend that TWA flight 800 was shot down last month by one of three
shoulder-fired Stingers of the type used by Islamic guerrillas during the
Afghanistan war. The sources said the missiles arrived in America seven
months ago after being shipped from Karachi via Rotterdam and on to the
Canadian port of Halifax. They claimed an Egyptian fundamentalist group
backed by Iran was responsible for smuggling the weapons across the Canadian
border into the United States. The group, the Gama'a al-Islamiya, comprises
followers of Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, a blind Egyptian cleric jailed in the
United States over the 1993 New York World Trade Center bombing. A senior
White House official responsible for counter-terrorism told The Sunday Times
this weekend that he had seen a report that a Stinger missile had been
smuggled into the United States from Pakistan. The
official, who is involved in collating intelligence relating to the TWA
inquiry for the White House, said investigators were aware of reports that
Stingers may have been smuggled into the country.... If a Stinger was the
cause of this, our first theory would be that it came from Afghanistan."  The
official was commenting on reports from Tehran that claimed several groups
funded by the religious authorities in Iran are active in the United States.
The reports claim one previously unknown underground group called Falakh may
have as many as 50 highly trained terrorists in the country.

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