Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Where are they now?

This story made a small splash in the foreign press, the WSJ and some right-wing blogs in mid-February:
Iraqi insurgents using Austrian rifles from Iran
By Thomas Harding, Defence Correspondent
Last Updated: 7:05pm GMT 13/02/2007

Austria distances itself from rifles row
Audio: Revelation makes US action against Iran more likely, says Thomas Harding

Austrian sniper rifles that were exported to Iran have been discovered in the hands of Iraqi terrorists, The Daily Telegraph has learned.

More than 100 of the .50 calibre weapons, capable of penetrating body armour, have been discovered by American troops during raids.

The guns were part of a shipment of 800 rifles that the Austrian company, Steyr-Mannlicher, exported legally to Iran last year.
Almost as quickly as this story surfaced, those versed in firearms began asking whether anyone had bothered to check the weapons' serial numbers against Steyr-Mannlicher's records. And almost as quickly, the story vanished from the newswires.

No reporters mention even seeing any one of the one hundred HS50s, and all the news photos are from Steyr's web catalog.

An Iran war trial balloon that wouldn't fly?

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