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Israel: Weapons seized in Nigeria were headed to Gaza

Israeli authorities say a cache of weapons seized at a Nigerian port this week originated in Iran and were bound for Gaza: Agents with Nigeria’s secretive State Security Service discovered the weapons Tuesday hidden inside of 13 shipping containers dropped off at Lagos’ busy Apapa Port. Journalists allowed to see the weapons Wednesday saw 107 ...

PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images
PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images

Israeli authorities say a cache of weapons seized at a Nigerian port this week originated in Iran and were bound for Gaza:

Agents with Nigeria’s secretive State Security Service discovered the weapons Tuesday hidden inside of 13 shipping containers dropped off at Lagos’ busy Apapa Port. Journalists allowed to see the weapons Wednesday saw 107 mm rockets, rifle rounds and other items labeled in English. Authorities said the shipment also contained grenades, explosives and possibly rocket launchers, but journalists did not see them.

Wale Adeniyi, a spokesman for Nigeria’s Customs Service, said Thursday that the MV CMA-CGM Everest dropped the weapons off in July. Adeniyi said the ship last stopped at Mumbai’s Jawaharlal Nehru Port before coming to Nigeria.

If the Israelis are right, that would mean that in order to travel the roughly 1,000 mile distance between Iran and Gaza, the weapons first had to travel about 1,700 miles in the opposite direction to Mumbai, then take a roughly 8,000 mile journey around the Horn of Africa before landing in Nigeria, where, if they hadn’t been seized, they would still have had to travel over 5,000 miles through the Mediterranean before landing in Gaza.

Seems like distance is still very much alive for the international weapons trade.

Israeli authorities say a cache of weapons seized at a Nigerian port this week originated in Iran and were bound for Gaza:

Agents with Nigeria’s secretive State Security Service discovered the weapons Tuesday hidden inside of 13 shipping containers dropped off at Lagos’ busy Apapa Port. Journalists allowed to see the weapons Wednesday saw 107 mm rockets, rifle rounds and other items labeled in English. Authorities said the shipment also contained grenades, explosives and possibly rocket launchers, but journalists did not see them.

Wale Adeniyi, a spokesman for Nigeria’s Customs Service, said Thursday that the MV CMA-CGM Everest dropped the weapons off in July. Adeniyi said the ship last stopped at Mumbai’s Jawaharlal Nehru Port before coming to Nigeria.

If the Israelis are right, that would mean that in order to travel the roughly 1,000 mile distance between Iran and Gaza, the weapons first had to travel about 1,700 miles in the opposite direction to Mumbai, then take a roughly 8,000 mile journey around the Horn of Africa before landing in Nigeria, where, if they hadn’t been seized, they would still have had to travel over 5,000 miles through the Mediterranean before landing in Gaza.

Seems like distance is still very much alive for the international weapons trade.

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy  Twitter: @joshuakeating

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