20000 M16s Go Missing With No Leads

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A media report coming in from overseas states that enough M16 rifles went missing from a warehouse in Kuwait this month to arm and equip and entire division of infantry. Worse, it seems the warehouse was unguarded and a huge cache of ammo went south as well.

20000 M16s Go Missing With No Leads - christophereger - www-securingindustry-com-1113.jpg

The Crime

According to the World Tribune who reported on April 9:

"The [Kuwaiti] Interior Ministry said thieves broke into a warehouse and stole a huge amount of firearms and ammunition. The ministry said 20,000 U.S.-origin M-16 assault rifles and 15,000 rounds for 9mm pistols were stolen. "There were no guards during the break-in," the ministry said on April 7. The ministry said the target was a warehouse of the Interior Ministry in Subiya, Middle East Newsline reported. The statement said thieves broke three doors and removed the entire contents of the warehouse."

How is this possible?

20000 M16s Go Missing With No Leads - christophereger - 472-m4-m16-6-blk-1114.jpg

(You ever move an embark box full of M16s? Its a two-three man job all day, photo by casesbysour)

To move 20,000 M16 rifles is no easy task. This quantity of rifles was more than likely stored in cases rather than racks. This means pallets and pallets of M4 embark boxes, each with six rifles inside. Each of these loaded boxes weighs about 150-pounds as they are literally meant to withstand brutal shipping by the lowest bidder around the world. Moving 3000 cases like this would require a football team sized group with a strong back and a convoy of moving vans all afternoon.

20000 M16s Go Missing With No Leads - christophereger - weapons-storage-military-storage-060420121440049531-640-1115.jpg

20000 M16s Go Missing With No Leads - christophereger - rm16-rack-cabinet-1116.jpg

(This is how M16s are stored in US armories. Moving 20,000 guns that are secured like this with no one stumbling on the operation is amazing)

Even if the guns were in racks and not cases, the M12 racking system used by the US military places a steel rack for 12 rifles inside a locking metal cabinet. Say the rows and rows of cabinets in this warehouse weren't even locked; it would still take hours for a group of thieves to move this amount of hardware one rifle at a time via bucket brigade. Speculate that you form a bucket brigade of 15 guys passing rifles out the rack to a waiting truck at a rate of one rifle a second- that's five hours. If you argue maybe they could pass two at a time at work without break at a steady pace, that's still over two hours.


20000 M16s Go Missing With No Leads - christophereger - 20000-m16s-1117.jpg

These guns apparently did not belong to the US military, although some 13,000 American troops are currently stationed in that Persian Gulf country. The guns seem to be military aid or Foreign Military Sales to the Kuwaiti government. While Al Qaeda itself is not believed to be operational in the kingdom, a group known as the Peninsula Lions with links to AQ has been active in the country in recent years as has the Iranian backed Generation of Arab Fury .

Whether or not these guns were stolen by these groups, tribal-based criminal organizations, or some other new player to the area is currently not known. What is known is that 20,000 M16s are most likely on the underground silk road for those with the scratch and the contacts.

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April 13, 2013  •  11:29 AM
This is horrendous! Now these extremists have access to a far more accurate weapon than thier normal weapon of choice. Plus if retained in these cases they could possibly be shipped back to the U.S. under the guise of the downsizing of Afghan troops but be picked up by underground terrorists cells inside our borders. I don't feel this far fetched considering the obvious organization & planning of these thieves!
April 15, 2013  •  04:38 PM
I'd say watch for them to turn up in Syria.
April 15, 2013  •  05:13 PM
Flynt's got it on the nose! They were Not "stolen" Kuwaits agitation for the Syrian rebels is known far and wide
April 15, 2013  •  07:14 PM
This ones easy to solve -- just wait till someone orders 140,000 magazines. And follow him. At least now we know why there's an ammo shortage...
April 15, 2013  •  09:12 PM
Why do we sell these people weapons to begin with?

If they can't secure their armories any better than that, then they don't need weapons.

We should never have to face our own hardware in a war unless the enemy captures it in a war.
April 16, 2013  •  01:10 AM
Your all wrong again...

This is actually BRILIANT military strategy!

One well learned fact from the sandbox is the Islamic philosophy of our enemies that:

A. Islamic marksmanship = "If Allah wills it... It will hit"

This philosophy extends to weapons maintenance where the gun with the most fancy beads and paint works the best!

"If Alah wills it... It will function!"

Figure out which Arab State had NOTHING to do with Boston today... and you'll find those 20k M16's... ;)

April 17, 2013  •  05:06 PM
It seems that so many people were upset about the USA selling weapons to those who might do us harm, they found a new way to get them into the same hands we cannot sell to. Place them in an unguarded warehouse, check once a week and see.
April 19, 2013  •  01:16 PM
Maybe to go with the aircraft for the Muslim Brotherhood?
April 25, 2013  •  08:24 PM

I guess this may be part of the ammo shortage, but it was my
understanding it was mostly due to the purchase of 1.8
billion rounds by the DHS. This was finally admitted to
questioning of Diane Feinstein by congressman Duncan, R
SC. It has been said that is enough ammo for a 20 yr. war
based on amount used in Iraq thus far.
The big question is why do the feds need that quantity of
ammo that it all but depleted the availability to the
the citizens that own guns and has even made it critical
to police depts. throughout the US. Some police depts.
are reporting having to wait up to ten months for back
April 28, 2013  •  05:13 AM
Sometimes you have to move merchandise without getting your hands dirt. This is clearly one such case. Kuwait wants to support 'someone' but can't directly transfer to them.

Assad's days are counted. Whether this is good or bad is still too soon to tell.
May 2, 2013  •  12:51 AM
@Tackleberry1 The whole thing is this. The Kuwaiti's are going to order another 20,000 and the idiots in Washington are going to send them along with pallet loads of money.
May 10, 2013  •  09:26 AM
Ovey! Everyday it's something new; everyday the stench thickens! My God, I'm leaving the theatre for some fresh memories!!
June 13, 2013  •  05:09 PM
Total BS, those guns were never there, those guns were already sold to someone and this is a coverup
October 25, 2013  •  03:14 PM
I believe a bunch of you are right. They weren't stolen, just reported that way. So that our government would send them another 20000. I mean, come on, how can you have that many rifles and not guard them. If a private citizen had that many guns that got stolen, our government would have them in jail for conspiracy.