October 7th, 2011
06:44 PM ET

US beefs up search for conventional weapons in Libya

By CNN Sr National Security Producer Charley Keyes

The U.S. is putting its money where one of its concerns is – locating conventional weapons that may have gone astray during the upheaval in Libya.

State Department Spokesman, Victoria Nuland, said Friday that the U.S. is sending in more personnel and devoting millions more dollars to the hunt. U.S. officials and others have warned that thousands of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles and well as other weapons could fall into the hands of terrorists or be used by remnants of the forces loyal to ousted Libyan leader Muommar Ghadafi.

"We now have nine teams working across Libya," Nuland said at her briefing at the State Department, and until recently just one team had been n place. "We initially had given $3 million to this effort; we've recently added another $10 million. And we are working all around Libya," she said.

Each team has one American assisted by members of the Transitional National Council.

"For each of these Americans, there is a full TNC team with them. So the Libyans are also growing their own capability," Nuland said. "We are very, very committed..

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Filed under: Arab Spring • Gadhafi • Libya • State Department
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