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Eight Jet Engines Stolen From Israeli AFB

by John Reed on June 13, 2011

Um, excuse me? Someone has apparently managed to steal eight, yes, eight retired Pratt & Whitney F100 fighter jet engines that power F-15s and F-16s from an Israeli air base, according to an AFP article.

How on Earth did this happen in one of the world’s most security-conscious nations? I mean, each engine weighs several tons and requires a serious truck to move them. Can anyone say inside job? For now, the IAF is saying the engines were likely stolen for scrap metal. I mean, the F100 isn’t exactly cutting edge engine tech. Heck, depending on the variant, those stolen F100s may be the version that was plagued with so many problems that it prompted the U.S. Air Force to commission GE to build its F110 as an alternate engine to the F100 in the 1980s.

The real concern here isn’t the technology in the engines being stolen, it’s the fact that the IAF (or at least units at that base) is so corrupt that eight jet engines were stolen in plain view. You can’t exactly sneak them out of a hangar in your pocket.

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{ 78 comments… read them below or add one }

brian June 13, 2011 at 1:25 pm

You would be surprised what negligence people are capable of when you realize they just don't care.

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Deutsch Adler July 10, 2011 at 9:07 am

Fuck u all nasty cheap apes !
fuck israel too who the hell cares bout such a nasty swamp like israel
Heil Hitler !
the new Hitler is commin soon or later to destroy this shit.
Deutsch Adler.

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OliSki June 13, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Probably sold them to the Chinese or Russians and Israel is our most important ally and inseparable. That really hurts in a relationship.

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CSZ June 13, 2011 at 4:10 pm

Both China and Russia have better turbofan engines technologies and will not be interested with a couple of beat-up F100s.

In fact, US sold China CFM56 which is a commercial engine derived from F101. But the core is the same.

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usa all the way June 13, 2011 at 2:10 pm

stuiped china

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BILL D June 13, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Cut off aid till they find the engines

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Maxtrue June 13, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Well since the US and Israel have orbital eyes, when were these engines moved out on trucks? Certainly there are security cameras on the ground as well. I see unsubstantiated claims in the comment thread and I wonder what logic there is for Israel helping the "enemy". Pakistan who harbored OBL flies the latest F-16. The alliance between the US and Israel is worth far more than bribes from third parties. If the engines were sold for scrape, there should be evidence and arrests. It is bizarre however, that some suggest the Israeli leadership wants to strategic commit suicide. As in the Ofer case, I wouldn't jump to conclusions. Espionage, I suspect is rather complex, if this is more than greed.

Perhaps Defense Tech could feature news items of cutting edge collaborative efforts between the US and Israel. What's the latest on our joint missile defense efforts?

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J Hughes June 13, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Only Israel "steals" from Israel.

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EJ257 June 13, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Probably their response to Obama asking them to return to 1967 borders.

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David June 13, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Israel probably sold them to China like they do most other things the US gives them.

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lego606 June 13, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Um… no?

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barry June 16, 2011 at 3:41 pm

or the taliban!

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SJE June 13, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Remeber when you were in middle school and there was this scrappy kid who was funny and smark alecky, and kinda fun, but was always getting getting you in trouble when you got involved in his "schemes" You stuck up for him on occassion, and he helped you out a few times, but just couldnt help himself. Israel is like that kid. So, do you do detention with him AGAIN, or are you going to tell him to get his sh*t together?

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Maxtrue June 13, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Well since the US and Israel have orbital eyes, when were these engines moved out on trucks? The night of June first? Certainly there are security cameras on the ground as well as in the sky. I see unsubstantiated claims in the comment thread and I wonder what logic there is for Israel helping the "enemy". Pakistan who harbored OBL flies the latest F-16. 60 billion going to KSA. The alliance between the US and Israel is worth far more than bribes from third parties.

If the engines were sold for scrape, there should be evidence and arrests. It is bizarre however, that some suggest the Israeli leadership wants to strategic commit suicide or help their enemies. As in the Ofer case, I wouldn't jump to conclusions. Espionage, I suspect is rather complex, if this is more than greed.

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Josh June 13, 2011 at 4:39 pm

There are some countries like Iran that still have purcahsed U.S. fighters that can no longer fly them due to a parts shortage…. but I think these were most likely stolen for the scrap metal alone. Stealing 8 worn out engines isn't the best way to get obsolete aircraft flying again.

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OMEGATALON June 13, 2011 at 5:13 pm

This is BS as someone in the Israeli government sold these engines to the Chinese government as they develop their stealth fighter jet program as no one can walk into an Israeli Air Force base and take anything this large without proper documentation; but while some General might be sitting pretty now, he sold out his country who might need to try fighting over a fleet of Iranian stealth fighter jets from China.

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lego606 June 13, 2011 at 5:16 pm

Um… proof please?

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marsh113 June 13, 2011 at 5:51 pm

The Reagan administration conspired to let the Russians steal a computer chip for controlling the flow of natural gas in, I believe, Siberia. The faulty chip resulted in one of the largest non nuclear explosions ever reported by satellite. Could the Israelis have allowed another country to buy/steal/obtain these engines with similar nefarious intent? I don't know, but it is worth considering.

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anon June 13, 2011 at 8:50 pm

The only problem with Farewell is that it suggests that Buran is CIA disinformation and that the Soviets had no role in designing it, which is a bit hubristic. If the United States hadn't made it to the moon, they might've eventually made it in at least another decade. In any case, they were woefully behind and spent their efforts on catching up militarily instead of catching up industrially and technologically. Ashbin of history.

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Jay June 14, 2011 at 12:05 pm

The only possible enemy that could use it would be Egypt which flies F16s. Iran's F14s can't use the F100. I don't know if there is a way to rig an engine to self destruct without it being detectable anyway. The gas pipe counter-sabotage used software.

Related – Recently the US state department "outed" an Israeli company that was trading (through a third party) with Iran. Israeli intelligence officials protested.

Pretty clear that either the State dept is plain stupid or trying to embarass Israel by outing an intel operation.

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saberhagen June 16, 2011 at 5:57 am

do you guys have any link to this story?

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SJE June 13, 2011 at 5:53 pm

How is corruption unrelated to this issue?

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SJE June 13, 2011 at 8:03 pm

To those who gave me negative karma, please explain how the theft of 8 jet engines from an IDF airforce base just happened without some corruption. If this happened from a Pakistani airforce base, would you say the same?

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Satirist June 13, 2011 at 8:48 pm

Israel is gods chosen land so they cant be corrupt.
Pakistan is something else.
News flash, Amaleks are actually Pakistanis.

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anon June 13, 2011 at 8:46 pm

I think people are reaching and trying to divorce "political corruption" from military corruption, based on a fantasy of soldiers being virtuous, dutiful, uncorruptible people. Soldiers are people too. Some are corrupt and some aren't. "Bad apples", as they say.

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TROJANII June 13, 2011 at 7:11 pm

"each engine weighs several tons and requires a serious truck to move them" Actually, they don't even weigh two tons, and can be moved around by hand. It takes alot less effort if you use something called "wheels".

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John June 13, 2011 at 7:50 pm

Israel sold them to the Chinese, like they did our Arrow missile technology.

Isreal is not an ally.

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Sam June 13, 2011 at 10:32 pm

Israel has never been an ally. America is better off without it.

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Joe Schmoe June 14, 2011 at 12:24 am

WTF?

Arrow is Israeli technology. The stupidity of the some of these anti-Israeli posters…

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TROJANII June 15, 2011 at 11:58 am
barry June 16, 2011 at 3:43 pm

actually i bought them for the aircraft carcasses I have on my acreage and going to sell them to Al Queda once their installed!

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J Hughes June 13, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Israeli trolls are alive and well on here.

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OliSki June 13, 2011 at 9:52 pm

Regardless how old and beat up the engines are it gives them a blue print which they can improve and add there own tech to it. That’s why we don’t sell aircraft carriers for example doing so would make a country that’s 50 years back in tech 20 years or even 10.

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Matt June 13, 2011 at 9:59 pm

The Brits do sell aircraft carriers (yes i know theyre stripped down of all the "good stuff")… Besides China steals its engines from Russia, not Isreal haha (still true though)

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Josh June 13, 2011 at 10:04 pm

The Palestinian kid did it!

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jamesb June 13, 2011 at 10:15 pm

This story is FULL of holes….
Someone will fill them in at a later date…

And it won't be what this byline reports…..

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Itrovert June 14, 2011 at 4:48 am

They smuggled them out in a tunnel dug from the Gaza strip!

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John June 14, 2011 at 8:25 am

Given that we sold Pakistan F-16's there is a good chance that China and anyone else that wants a F100 engine has one.

Also given that the WS-10 engine is built on the CFM56 core that was loaned to them in the 80's means that they are not that far behind to begin with.

During the cold war we were able to buy many different Mig's and Mil's and recently purchased about 20 Mig-29's from Moldova.

Hate to say it but money really has the power to get a country whatever it wants.

How many people remember when Iran was very close to purchasing F100 engines for their F-14's from a person motivated by a big check not a conscience.

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John June 14, 2011 at 8:32 am

Sorry should have said TF30 engines in F-14. Also did a quick search. Looks like they tried to buy a bone-yard airframe as well – or I may be getting the 2 stories mixed.

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Jay June 14, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Yep. Chinese techs got to examine the Paki F16s years ago. China also got a lot of data on US aircraft from Japan using the old sweet honeypot method.

This story makes me wonder how often aircraft parts go missing from US boneyards. With commodity prices soaring thieves who know what they are looking for could make a bundle on the scrap metal. Heck, they already take down electrical lines for copper.

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Jorge_Banner June 14, 2011 at 12:28 pm

I saw the joooo kid steal the cookies. And he smells, too.

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brok3n June 14, 2011 at 12:53 pm

F-10 = Lavi
PL-8 = Python 3
Chinese Harpy's
Radar tech from Israel

What else?

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Joe Schmoe June 14, 2011 at 3:31 pm
John June 14, 2011 at 5:12 pm

AIM-9 = K-13
Concorde = Tu-144
B-29 = Tu-4
BGM-71 TOW = Toophan
Rolls-Royce Nene = Klimov VK-1
V2 = R1 (although the US is just as guilty when it comes to our first rocket and V2 copy)

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brok3n June 15, 2011 at 1:52 am

Glad to see that's the Israeli reasoning on selling to China.. be great to cut off aid to this non-ally.

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Blight June 15, 2011 at 9:11 am

The Toophans date to our relationship with the Shah and Iran Contra. the Reagan Admin approved release of TOWs to Iran.

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Maxtrue June 14, 2011 at 1:05 pm

DT, please explain the purpose of this Post.

Misinformation or data mining dissemination?

116 likes? was that after or before reading the brilliant comment thread…..

really guys…… not cogent at all

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PolicyWonk June 14, 2011 at 2:11 pm

I wouldn't even be slightly surprised if the Chinese ended up with them. Doing obnoxious things for themselves that are contrary to American interests is hardly unheard of, and even an F-100 is long way ahead for the Chinese.

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Maxtrue June 14, 2011 at 4:02 pm

I really hope your aren't….

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Jay June 15, 2011 at 10:34 am

wonk,

you are obviously not qualified for "policy" since you don't know the first thing about jet engines or the Chinese military

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Joe Schmoe June 14, 2011 at 3:36 pm

OK, here's an update from some IAF insiders:

1. The engines were of an old type (probably F-100).
2. Those engines were "dead" and were stored in some junkyard inside the airbase.
3. It's unclear who stole the engines, when and how.
4. The engines weren't sold to China nor Iran, because they were found (or parts of them) in a private junkyard of scrap metal near the city of Ashdod.
5. Once the engines found in this junkyard, Military Police opened an inquiry clear out their origin. MP discovered then that these engines were missing in the junkyard of Tel-Nof airbase.

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Joe Schmoe June 14, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Further update:

It is believed today (as part of the investigation) that the engine parts were stolen by traders who were allowed to enter the base. They were permitted access to the junkyard (which is separated from the rest of the base) to recycle old metals and in return give money back to the Air Force for those metals.

Unfortunately, they were not properly supervised and took the engine parts, without authorization, from the junkyard. At no time did they have access to other restricted parts of the base as the junkyard is kept in a separate location.

And for all those anti-Israel people who just jumped unto this story without facts in order to blast Israel, here are some facts:

1)- if Israel wanted to sell engines to China it could easily do it quietly.

2)- Chinese already have domestic engine for J-10, its is called WS-10 and it is based on GE F108 engine which US sold to China in 1982. However it took over quarter century to reverse engineer this engine. The CFM56 was sold to China under the clause that they wouldn't use it for military purposes, which was ignored.

3)- The engine parts have been located, which is why this whole investigation was opened to begin with.

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Stan June 14, 2011 at 7:51 pm

Israel sure seems to cause the US more headaches than benefits for the billions of dollars and tech we give them every year. Not to mention the billions Germany is forced by the US to give them.

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Joe Schmoe June 14, 2011 at 8:01 pm

Yup, 100% . Now go crawl back into your hole.

P.S. – Germany gave the money to Israel in reparations for their stealing nearly the entire wealth of European Jewry, not to mention killing them.

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Edgar Muchos June 14, 2011 at 8:27 pm

Glad you agree Israel is a burdensome ally with a long history of spying on the U.S. and stealing our tech secrets. The fact that Israel contains Jews is pretty incidental to the fact that they spy on us relentlessly, no? So why does every defense of Israel begin with the accusation of anti-Semitism, I wonder. Why don’t you go back to your hole, Joe?

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Jay June 15, 2011 at 10:33 am

Stan – our tech exchange with Israel is a 2 way street. We have incorporated the Israeli developed upgrades on the F15 and F16 into our planes, especially in electronics, avionics, and controls – the HUD we use is Israeli. Our drones are based on Israeli drones. Our missile defense systems use Israeli tech. The intel chips and antivirus software you are using to read this were probably designed or made in Israel.

Israel also provided us with nifty things like top of the line Soviet radars and missiles they captured from Egypt and Syria, and intel and experience from fighting against soviet trained armies using soviet weapons and tactics. Not to mention the ongoing humint re terrorist activities.

The $3bil we give to Israel for mil aid has to be spent in the states. Our return on investment from aid to Israel is fantastic.

We have spent 1000 times more money and blood to help out the Muslims and Arabs and what do we to show for that? Where did those 19 guys come from again? What Muslim invented systems are in our F16s and drones?

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Jonny June 15, 2011 at 10:58 am

Uh have you looked at most US defense tech? Where do you think it was developed and who by? Israel that's who.

Who is one of the US largest foreign investors in US job creation in the private and public sector? Israel that's who.

Maybe try and speak from a point of nonignorance .. jeez

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Rajarata June 14, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Fellas,

This could be a israeli mafia job…cuz, many 3rd world countries who use fighters need F 100 since,US due to human rights or other concerns have embargoed engine updgrades to these countries, See, if ya use the Kfirs or A 4′s as many 3W countries do, its hard to get except thru arms dealers from Israel.Ask the former Tamil Tigers they got training & arms from corrupt Israeli arme dealers.China & others, they have other means of getting engines baby !

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Joe Schmoe June 14, 2011 at 9:46 pm

Did you not read? The engines have been found, that's what started this whole investigation.

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Jay June 15, 2011 at 10:29 am

Raj,

Israel sold Kfirs and heavy weapons NOT to the Tamil but the Sri Lankan gov to fight the Tamil

see this interview with the Sri Lankan ambassador: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3923309

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brok3n June 14, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Wow, looks like the Israeli's are in full force defending on this board.

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angrydork June 17, 2011 at 4:18 am

sure are, considering the level of comments about conspiracy theories is just pulled out of one's ass and have no actual factual basis for them. so yes, it's important to "defend" against false allegations and pure idiocy and ignorance.

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drilllbitbent June 14, 2011 at 11:33 pm

reverse engineering for Chinese firecracker 2000 jet son mobile…"yes yes very fasty

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brok3n June 15, 2011 at 5:32 pm

Judging by the amount of responses, there should be an Eye on Israel section!!

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Joe Schmoe June 15, 2011 at 5:39 pm

Please, go take your lame anti-Israel bigotry elsewhere, no one here cares for it.

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Maxtrue June 15, 2011 at 7:07 pm

second that…..

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Maxtrue June 15, 2011 at 7:16 pm

Edgar dude, look at the thread. It started off on its own as an Anti-Zionist rant. I guess you don't like people showing up and defending Israel and shooting down the BS.

Why does every spurious report of alleged Israel infractions elicit smears and false claims? Are you sure Ofter wasn't helping the CIA? Doesn't NATO fly Herons? Israel steals its high tech from the US? What China needs they can steal themselves. They've stolen much from the Russians and the US.

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brok3n June 16, 2011 at 12:00 am

Bigotry!? Hah! Hardly, you fanboys should go back your fav sites and stop trolling.

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Rabbitguts June 21, 2011 at 1:25 am

One may consider,hypothetically that these engines may be in the hands of terrorists
and maybe in the near future we may see a few V1 flying dirty bombs…something to consider…

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blight2 June 22, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Terrorists don't need F100 engines for "V1 flying dirty bombs". Hamas can lob Qassam rockets from Gaza from whatever can be smuggled from Egypt through tunnels. Not the longest of ranges, but it goes to show what can be made with what might thought of Mcgyver-material in the aerospace industry.

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frank June 22, 2011 at 3:30 pm

They gave it to China as part of a new found friendship. Copy of this engine, would now be used to power the chinese F-16 copy

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Tom December 2, 2011 at 8:38 pm

dudes that was a stupid comment israel maybe negligent but its no an enemy
there are tons of arabs in israel who go around stealing anything they can find
i've been there for business for two weeks and some arab kid stole my car
(they caught him later)
oh and by the way the stupid guy with the arrow remark – arrow is an israeli tech, not ours buddy

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raj February 22, 2012 at 10:10 am

may be alienstook it. 2012 u see any thing can happen

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million March 12, 2012 at 8:53 am

whoever did it they will pay a price for that.

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EdgeSlade December 12, 2013 at 9:18 pm
Zap June 13, 2011 at 4:21 pm

PLO not PLA slapface

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brok3n June 15, 2011 at 3:13 am

All worthless if your playing side deals. Cut aid to both Pakistan and Israel!

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Joe Schmoe June 15, 2011 at 5:54 am

Who's playing side deals?

We wanted to sell our Phalcon radar system to China in a deal potentially worth Billions. The U.S. protested and Israel didn't sell it.

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