Hizbullah wants the SA-18, Russia has the rocket, Iran the cash, Syria the deployment
and a Terrorist brings them together

By: Jack Morris

The worst may be ahead
Those in the know on such things as rockets, range and results, are saying the West has seen nothing yet. That is, if one of the world's worst terrorists has his way - and his day.
The right weapon in the hands of the most bad among the bad can be a terrible thing, and worst yet, nearly impossible to counter; despite the West's ability to send Cruise missiles from afar and take pictures from on high. Small weapons loaded with horrific punch and with a range that can bring down a jet fighter can alter the makeup of war; today and forever.
Properly positioned and amply equipped, the most unsophisticated shooter can bring down an airliner, demolish distant tanks, and even rocket a warship on the horizon line. One round sent aloft from such a killing machine can stimulate a fire-fight reply sufficient to trigger an international holocaust and, once underway, a global war difficult to slow and stop.

Russia's Igla
There is one mass-produced shoulder-held weapon in existence that meets the utility requirements of terrorists and it could be one day available to anyone with cash in hand. Made in Russia, it is called the SA-18 or 'Igla'; it resembles (to a small degree) the world war II bazooka in shape and weight but delivers a monstrous wallop at many times the distance of the original bazooka; it has an estimated range of between 5.2 and 8 kilometers (est. 3-5 miles). While the infamous bazooka in the 1940s was aimed through crude gun sights, the SA-18 has optical and infrared sensors.
One such terrorist, Imad Fayez Mugniyeh, a Lebanese (aka:Mughniyeh, dob 1962, 5'7") murdered CIA's Beirut-assigned William Buckley in 1984, thought to be living in Teheran, has been documented as a cash-rich seeker of the SA-18. Iran is providing Mugniyeh with all the funds he needs to get the SA-18 in great numbers - if only Russia will make them available. Mugniyeh wants to hand them out to his Hizbullah followers - he heads the Lebanese Hizbullah and is the leader of that organization's Special Overseas Forces.
Iran is concerned the West's war juggernaut will turn on them for being terrorist participants and supporters after the smoke clears in Iraq and has taken steps to make their relationship with Mugniyeh and his search for the SA-18 not appear in tandem. This is where Syria plays a role in the acquisition and deployment of Russian rockets. Iran pays the bill, Syria collects and makes them available, and Imad Mugniyeh participates as the military procurer.
The intelligence agencies in the West knew that Mugniyeh had approached several of the Russian republics and was very close to striking a deal. They also were aware that Russian President Vladimir Putin was not against the sales. At the time when pens were about to be placed to agreements, and hundreds of the missiles crated and shipped to Syria, the Chechen terrorists managed to strike terror in the hearts of Russians everywhere through their theater debacle. Among the most concerned was Putin and his fear the long range missiles he was about to ship out-of-country might be returned to him by way of his own Chechen threat.

The Mombassa Upgrade
The terrorists responsible for the attack in Mombassa claim they would have brought down the Israeli passenger jet had they not been using inferior equipment; thus their drive to upgrade to the SA-18 or, if need be, to the shorter range SA-16. The world has reason to fear the SA-16, as well, (called the Gimlet) for it has an estimated range of several miles and a similar guidance system as the SA-18.

The Author
Mr. Morris was an active intelligence officer and director in both the U.S.A. and Australia. He makes his home in the Loomis Basin between Sacramento and Auburn, California.