Islamists overrun Libyan airport, nearly a dozen planes now missing as 9/11 anniversary draws near


A picture taken on August 26, 2014, shows bullet casing and damaged airplanes on the tarmac at Tripoli international airport in the Libyan capital after fighters from the Fajr Libya (Libyan Dawn) coalition captured the airport from Zintan force, allies of rogue general Khalifa Haftar. AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD TURKIA MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP/Getty Images

Leading up to the somber anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, there are fresh fears of possible 9/11-style attacks taking place across North Africa as radical Islamist groups in Libya have reportedly seized nearly a dozen commercial airliners in the last month.

 A picture taken on August 26, 2014, shows bullet casing and damaged airplanes on the tarmac at Tripoli international airport in the Libyan capital after fighters from the Fajr Libya (Libyan Dawn) coalition captured the airport from Zintan force, allies of rogue general Khalifa Haftar. AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD TURKIA MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP/Getty Images

A picture taken on August 26, 2014, shows bullet casing and damaged airplanes on the tarmac at Tripoli international airport in the Libyan capital after fighters from the Fajr Libya (Libyan Dawn) coalition captured the airport from Zintan force, allies of rogue general Khalifa Haftar. AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD TURKIA MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP/Getty Images

While counterterrorism officials are reportedly concerned that the missing jetliners could be used by terrorists to carry out deadly attacks, the timing of the theft is also setting off alarms. The concern is that radical Islamist groups will use the planes to mark the anniversary of the deadly 9/11 attacks, according to alleged intelligence reports disseminated within the U.S. government.

Reports that Islamist militias have seized the jetliners come just weeks before the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

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