Terrorists can Still Fire Anti-Aircraft Missiles

MOSCOW (RIA NOVOSTI) – Terrorists can still use MANPADS (Man-Portable Air-Defense System) complexes all over the world, Boris Mylnikov, director of the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) anti-terrorist center, told reporters here today.

This conclusion stems from the results of the March 2004 Vienna session involving the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the UN Security Council’s counter-terrorist committee. Boris Mylnikov also attended that session.

The UN estimates that such MANPADS complexes have been used more than 40 times by terrorists since their appearance, killing about 600 people.

According to Mr. Mylnikov, the conference suggested marking all portable anti-aircraft missile complexes the way explosives are marked; this measure, as well as tough export control, will help prevent their use by terrorists. Moreover, everything must be done in order to ensure safe MANPADS storage.

NATO representatives suggested destroying all redundant MANPADS complexes in various countries as soon as possible, Boris Mylnikov said. About Euro 10 million have already been set aside for scrapping weapons, portable anti-aircraft missiles included.

A NATO delegation intends to visit Kazakhstan in May 2004 at the latter’s request, helping that country to get rid of extra munitions, including MANPADS complexes, Mr. Mylnikov said in conclusion.