Report: ISIS Launches Air Force at Libyan Base
In late August 2014 the ISIS terror group captured SA-16 Manpads, AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles and MiG-21B jets after they raided the Raqqa airbase in Syria.
ISIS added MiG-21B jets to their arsenal in August.
The Islamic State is now teaching fighters to fly planes in Sirte, Libya.
Israel National News reported:
Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists in the port city of Sirte, located in northern Libya, are learning to fly planes using at least one flight simulator according to military officials in the strategically situated North African state.
The sources were quoted by the London-based Arabic Asharq Al-Awsat as saying they aren’t sure how a civilian plane simulator, and apparently a fighter jet one as well, got into the jihadists’ hands in Sirte, the birthplace of Libya’s former dictator Muammar Gaddafi who was deposed in 2011.
“It’s a modern simulator, which apparently arrived from abroad,” the sources were cited as saying, noting that it was roughly the size of a small car. The simulator is replete with a steering wheel to practice take-off and landing, a radar screen, and communications devices to contact the control tower.
A senior Libyan military officer confirmed the information to the paper in an interview held in Cairo. He noted that the ISIS group, which includes former officers in the Libyan army and neighboring armies, succeeded in acquiring a civilian flight simulator in October.
The officer said security forces received information in the last two weeks indicating that the ISIS fighters also obtained a fighter jet simulator of an unspecified type. Another senior security source said the Lebanese air force tried several times to hit the base where the flight training is thought to be being conducted, but did not succeed in the attempts.
ISIS has in the past captured fighter jets in Iraq and Syria, leaving open the potential that terrorist pilots would head from Libya back to those countries in order to launch an ISIS air force of sorts. Another potential risk is that the terrorists could hijack planes and crash them into sensitive sites, as was done by Al Qaeda terrorists in the infamous September 11, 2001 attacks.