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Portland-Bound Hellfire Missiles Found On Air Serbia Flight: Report

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 13/03/2016 Kim Bellware
LOCKHEED MARTIN LONGBOW HELLFIRE © Creative Commons/Stahlkocher LOCKHEED MARTIN LONGBOW HELLFIRE

Serbian authorities are investigating reports that two war missiles were found in cargo headed to the U.S on a passenger flight from Lebanon to Serbia, The Associated Press reports.

The cargo containing the pair of "armor-piercing missiles" aboard an Air Serbia flight from Beirut was discovered Saturday at Belgrade airport, the AP reports, citing Serbian television.

Serbian media reports say the cargo was bound for Portland, Oregon.

A spokeswoman for the FBI’s Portland division said the bureau is aware of the report, but had no information to release. Representatives with Air Serbia did not immediately respond to request for comment, but told Serbian media they were cooperating in the investigation.

The missiles are able to lock onto a target before or after launch, according to a description from Lockheed Martin, which manufactures the weapons. One missile can easily destroy a car or a tank. The company notes the missiles have been used in both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

If confirmed, this wouldn't be the first time Hellfire missiles have been found where they aren't supposed to be. In January, the Wall Street Journal reported that a dummy training missile had been sent to Cuba in 2014. The Cubans finally returned the missile after its loss became public.

There are a lot of Hellfire missiles out there. In January, for example, the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency approved a possible $800 million sale of 5,000 of them to the Iraqi government to aid in its fight against the Islamic State group.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 

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