"We have smuggled thousands of shoulder-launched (surface-to-air) SAM missiles to Gaza through the tunnels for a transporting fee only," a Bedouin leader from Tarabeen tribe told CNN.The Washington Post reported on the SAMs last October:
But not all those weapons may have gone to the Palestinian territory. The same man claimed Bedouins would turn some of those weapons against Egypt's military-led government unless their demands were met.
"We saved some for us ... stockpiles of RPGs, machine guns. And I personally have ten 14.5 mm anti-aircraft guns that I bought at $12,000 a piece.
"We have declared war against the military and will not wait for them to kill us all," he said.
There is no way to verify the tribal leader's claims, but an Egyptian national security officer, Usama Emam, told CNN that weapons from Libya and Sudan had arrived in Sinai by sea.
Another military intelligence official told CNN: "There are advanced anti-tank missiles that come to Sinai and go to Gaza through tunnels, but I don't have information on the SAMs coming through."
Large caches of weapons from Libya are making their way across the Egyptian border and flooding black markets in Egypt’s already unstable Sinai Peninsula, according to current and former Egyptian military officials and arms traders in the Sinai.No problem, though. All these weapons are moderate.
Egyptian security officials have intercepted surface-to-air missiles, most of them shoulder-launched, on the road to Sinai and in the smuggling tunnels connecting Egypt to the Gaza Strip since Moammar Gaddafi fell from power in Libya in August, a military official in Cairo said. Arms traders said the weapons available on Sinai’s clandestine market include rockets and antiaircraft guns.