Republicans press Pentagon on reports of Hamas, Russia using American weapons
"The Committee has seen reports that U.S.-manufactured weapons are being redistributed and resold in secondary markets to terrorist organizations, including Hamas," they wrote.
Republicans on the House Oversight Committee on Monday demanded that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin account for reports that both the Russian military and the Hamas terrorist group had acquired U.S.-manufactured weapons.
"The Committee has seen reports that U.S.-manufactured weapons are being redistributed and resold in secondary markets to terrorist organizations, including Hamas," GOP Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Ga., and James Comer, Ky., wrote to Austin. "The potential possession of U.S. weapons by terrorists is alarming in light of the terrorist group’s recent horrific attack on Israel. Therefore, the Committee seeks a staff briefing on DoD procedures for preventing, addressing, and mitigating weapon diversion abroad."
The Hamas terrorist group on Oct. 7 staged a raid into Israeli territory, seized 199 hostages, and inflicted significant civilian casualties. The raid prompted Israeli counterstrikes on the Gaza Strip and the conflict is ongoing.
The pair of lawmakers cited intelligence reports suggesting that the Russians had seized and repurposed western weapons captured from the Ukrainian forces in Eastern Europe as well as Israeli concerns that the Palestinians had acquired American equipment left behind in Afghanistan.
"These reports raise issues about how U.S. funding and weaponry are being safeguarded amidst global conflicts," they continued. "The Committee is concerned by reports that Hamas and other terrorist organizations may have obtained American-made weapons. Recently released photos show Hamas terrorists allegedly holding what appear to be M4A1 Carbines, which were 'specially designed for U.S. Special Operations Forces.'"
They further highlighted the United States' history of supplying weapons to supposed allies only for them to later fall into enemy hands. In particular, they pointed to the CIA arming the Mujahideen fighters in Afghanistan with stinger missiles to target Soviet aircraft, only for the Taliban to acquire them.
The inglorious U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021 witnessed the evaporation of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan's military forces and the seizure of most of its hardware by the Taliban.
In a separate tweet announcing the letter, Comer and Greene also highlighted photographs and video from 2021 showing Taliban fighters flying a U.S. UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter.
Appearing on the "Just the News, No Noise" television show on Monday, Comer expressed confidence that the Department of Defense would be able to provide him with the answers he sought.
"This shouldn't be a hard question to answer. Are any of the weapons that are being used against Israel now weapons that were ours at one point or, you know, weapons that Russia is using against Ukraine?" he said. "So we put weapons into Ukraine, we put weapons into Afghanistan? And we apparently, the military doesn't have an inventory of these weapons? All we're asking for is an inventory. Surely to goodness, they have an inventory, and they keep up with weapons that that get misplaced or left behind or stolen or whatever. That's what we want to know. And that shouldn't be a hard question to answer."
"I hope they have an inventory. If they don't have an inventory, how sad is that? I mean, we've still not gotten a full accounting of what was left behind in Afghanistan," he went on. "And we know there was a lot of military weapons left behind in Afghanistan. So we know that the Taliban has a record of selling weapons. So we need to know these questions. How did, how did Hamas get these weapons? Where did they come from? Surely they didn't come from the United States. That's what we want to know."
Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter.