Comer & Greene Press DOD on U.S. Military Aid and Weapons Falling into Terrorist Hands
Washington, October 23, 2023
House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) and Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) are opening a probe into the Department of Defense’s (DoD) processes and policies to ensure that American military aid and weapons are properly distributed and used abroad. In a letter to DoD Secretary Lloyd Austin, the lawmakers request a staff briefing after reports surfaced showing U.S.-manufactured weapons are being redistributed and resold in secondary markets to terrorist organizations, including Hamas.
“The Committee is concerned by reports that Hamas and other terrorist organizations may have obtained American-made weapons,” wrote the lawmakers. “Recently released photos show Hamas terrorists allegedly holding what appear to be M4A1 Carbines, which were specially designed for U.S. Special Operations Forces. This would not be the first time our military service members and allies have been targeted by terrorist organizations misappropriating American-made weapons."
Previously, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reportedly provided Stinger Anti-Aircraft Missiles to the Afghan Mujahideen, which were later obtained and utilized by the Taliban. More recently, the Taliban released videos and photographs in 2021 of their members flying a U.S. UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter. A recent Defence Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine report alleges that Russian intelligence has repurposed weapons seized during the Ukraine-Russia war, which were manufactured in the United States and the European Union (EU). An Israel Defense Forces (IDF) commander echoed concerns in June 2023, stating that Palestinian groups in the Gaza strip possessed U.S. weapons seized by the Taliban during the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021.
“The Committee seeks transparency as to how the DoD ensures that military aid, including American-made small arms, are being carefully distributed, safeguarded, and tracked abroad to prevent further incidents,” continued the lawmakers. “The potential possession of U.S. weapons by terrorists is alarming in light of the terrorist group’s recent horrific attack on Israel. Therefore, the Committee seeks a staff briefing on DoD procedures for preventing, addressing, and mitigating weapon diversion abroad.
Read the letter to Secretary Austin here.