Lawmakers to probe if U.S. weapons sent to Ukraine, abandoned in Afghanistan are in Hamas' hands
"If we are finding out information and getting told intel that U.S. weapons have fallen into the hands of terrorists...it's our duty to investigate and find out if that's happened," Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene says.
Lawmakers in Congress emerged this week from classified briefings on the Israeli terror attack determined to launch a probe into whether U.S. weapons left behind in Afghanistan or donated to Ukraine have landed in the hands of Hamas and other Iranian-backed extremists.
"I think there has to be one," Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., a member of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, said on the John Solomon Reports podcast in an interview aired Friday. "...If we are finding out information and getting told intel that U.S. weapons have fallen into the hands of terrorists, especially with the horrific attack that just happened on Israel, it's our duty to investigate and find out if that's happened or not."
House members declined to describe with specificity what they were told by U.S. intelligence briefers on Wednesday but said they left the meeting convinced that U.S. weaponry has been allowed to fall into the hands of terrorists and other bad actors.
"We know that some of the weapons that are being used by Hamas in Israel against our most important ally came out of Afghanistan," Rep. Harriet Hageman, R-Wyo., told the "Just the News, No Noise" television show, accusing the Biden administration of offering a ho-hum response to the concerns.
"These things are all interconnected. Not just because his (Joe Biden's) disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan demonstrated a level of weakness and hubris and just tragedy again, to use that word. But now the weapons have found their way into the hands of other terrorists around the world," she added.
Current Pentagon and U.S. intelligence officials contacted by Just the News said they are aware of the reports of U.S. weaponry in Hamas' hands and the concerns of lawmakers. They also add that they are trying to ascertain more information. The U.S. has a database that allies can check with serial numbers when U.S. weaponry is recovered from a crime or war scene, the officials said.
Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) told reporters for Newsweek this June that they had recovered some U.S. small arms weapons left behind in Afghanistan after Biden's bungled withdrawal of troops inside Gaza and in the hands of Hamas.
A few days later, NBC News reported that abandoned U.S. weapons from Afghanistan had also ended up in another conflict – the one between India and Pakistan in the disputed territory of Kashmir: "Since falling into the hands of the Taliban, some of the weapons have been seized from militants in Indian-controlled Kashmir in what experts say could be just the start of their global journey," the network declared.
This past week, Ukrainian intelligence accused Russia of a plot to place "trophy" Western weapons seized from battlefields in Ukraine with the Hamas militant group to undermine international support for Kyiv.
Russian propaganda outlets began showing images of the weapons in Hamas terrorists hands after the attack on Israel last Saturday. Even Russian President Vladimir Putin got in on the messaging. "I have no doubt certain weapons leaked from Ukraine to the Middle East," Putin said on the Russian media outlet RT.
Ukraine responded instantly.
"The aggressor state, Russia, is using the attack by Hamas terrorists on the state of Israel for a large-scale provocation against Ukraine," the Ukrainian military intelligence said. "Defence Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine is aware that Russian intelligence has already delivered trophy weapons manufactured in the US and EU and captured during the hostilities in Ukraine to Hamas militants."
"The next step in the Russians' plan should be false accusations against the Ukrainian military of allegedly selling Western weapons to terrorists on a regular basis," they added.
Such back and forth has only heightened concerns on Capitol Hill.
The Facts Inside Our Reporter's Notebook
- U.S. weapons left behind in Afghanistan
- NBC News reported
- told reporters for Newsweek
- "I have no doubt certain weapons leaked from Ukraine to the Middle East"
- Ukrainian military intelligence said