US Probes Hemorrhage of Yank Arms in Iraq 'Bazaar'

190,000 guns gone as arms sold 'by truckload'
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 11, 2007 9:09 AM CST

(Newser) – An Iraqi businessman charged with distributing American guns to Iraqi policemen turned the cache into a personal arms bazaar in 2004-2005, selling massive amounts of weapons to foreign security guards, Iraqi militias and US contractors, reports the New York Times. “This was the craziest thing in the world,” said a retired military officer. “They were taking weapons away by the truckload.”

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The operation, apparently backed by some American officials, was one way the US military lost track of some 190,000 pistols and automatic rifles supplied to Iraq during that time. So far, none of the weapons have been linked to an American death, but some have apparently been used in guerrilla attacks on Turkey. “Once those weapons left normal channels, none of us were ever sure where they were going," said one administrator. (Read more Iraq stories.)

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