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Chinese are famous for large firework celebrations, but here, what were they planning to do?
Intercept fireworks with other fireworks?


HELSINKI (AP) Wrote:— Finnish authorities on Wednesday impounded 160 tons of explosives and 69 surface-to-air missiles found on a British-flagged cargo ship ultimately destined for Shanghai, China, officials said.

The M/S Thor Liberty sailed from the north German port of Emden on Dec. 13 and two days later docked in Kotka, southern Finland, to pick up a cargo of anchor chains, Finnish Customs spokesman Petri Lounatmaa said.

Investigating officers didn't know the origin of the Patriot missiles or who was supposed to receive them, he said.

"We have impounded the explosives and missiles and asked the Defense Ministry to transport and store them," Lounatmaa said. "At this stage we don't know where it (the cargo) was loaded on the ship or if the Thor Liberty planned a drop before its port of destination in China."

Detective Superintendent Timo Virtanen of the National Bureau of Investigation said dock workers found the explosives — picric acid — badly stored on open pallets instead of in closed containers. They alerted inspectors who found the missiles in containers marked as holding fireworks.

Interior Minister Paivi Rasanen said she had not heard of a similar case.

"Of course, there are legal transports of weapons or defense material (through Finland) but in this case the cargo was marked as containing fireworks," Rasanen told national broadcaster YLE TV. "That is quite unusual."

Lounatmaa said customs officials and police have launched a joint investigation into a possible breach of Finnish export and weapons trading laws.

Hasn't it occurred to you these are AMERICAN PATRIOT MISSILES?

You think China came to a US air force base and stole them or do you think we shipped them secretly to China for whatever cause?

Option B is likely and I submit they were to end up going to Iran via China. Just what guys like you and Ron need, dead US airmen and a war causus belli with Iran.

Believe me, Finland wasn't supposed to catch this big fish.
While I wouldn't be surprised if the gov't were up to such nefarious activities (cf. Fast and Furious), I have to wonder.....wouldn't it have been obvious to the observer if a Patriot Missile of all things was used by Iran against us?

I doubt a downed US F-14 in the Persian Gulf by any missile could be tracked down to a specific missile type. If I was in the Navy right now, I'd be nervous because I do not think it is more plausible this is the truth than:

1) China stole these bad boys

2) Rogue groups of AF officers have betrayed the US w/o government knowledge AND had the capability to ship Patriots w/o someone outside the conspiracy figuring it out, these things are fairly large and the control protocols almost certainly are extremely stringent as historically we've had very little trouble with our weaponry "visiting foreign nations we are not allied with w/o exploding first".

I think we're on a track to make war on Iran and even with the Ron's of America praying for it, you still must demonize Iran as Hitler had to do with Poland after 6 years of his propaganda. Hitler still had to create a fake causus belli, so must we.

I'd love to see a serious investigation into this deal. More criminality at the top is a possible fact.
I think your imagination is boiling Palladin. The US doesn't or even want a downed airplane.
It only needs the affirmation that Iran build WMDs.

I'm not sure of this but I think patriots missile batteries are on sale to a wide range of countries and not classified as top secret or top high-tech weapons.
These weapons were first used during Operation Desert Storm to protect Israel. That was more than 20 years ago.

Almost every weapons produced bu the US industry are sold commercialy. They are even selling drones. So why not Patriots. I wouldn't be surprised if more than 50 countries have bought Patriots legaly from the US.
Lower grade versions of course, but it doesn't matter.

Also Patriots are not anti-aircraft missiles, they are anti-missile missiles. Maybe they could be used against aircraft too, but it's not what they were designed for.
IMO the russian S-300 would be much more effective. If I was a US secret op manager, I'd buy some S-300 from a corrupt middleman in Russia, fit them so that they can down US airplanes and shipt them to Iran.

Finaly nothing indicates that it was going to Iran. Nobody knows where they were going. It's supposed it was not going to China ... maybe because China can buy them legaly already.
Iran is a possibility. North Korea is another one.
Too bad the destination of the ship was not known. I can understand why the Chicoms might be interested in Patriots (but only if they are new models). I don't think they would be interested in military grade high explosives, since that is quite easy for them to produce.

I would rather suspect Iran as a destination.
I'd like someone to explain how these patriot missiles jumped onto this ship headed to China w/o US service personnel loading them.

I think it is impossible and therefore think our government authorized this. Stay tuned for NO further info on this issue.
The US doesn't have to have had anything to do with this, people. We've sold Patriots to Taiwan, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Spain. Theoretically, we can determine, through serial numbers, etc. who these particular missiles were sold to. I would note that the ship came out of Germany who we have sold Patriots to.
That's true.

Germany claims this was from them to SK.

Just the odd thing that the Finn authorities still state the paperwork was not proper, which is traditionally not a flaw one would expect from the meticulous Germans.

“The missiles did not have the appropriate transit papers,” Virtanen said.

“Even if the missile cargo is a legitimate shipment, from a Finnish point of view the law has probably been broken because it was not properly declared,” Kaartinen said.
I understand that the Germans wanted it to keep it secret. You don't label patriot missiles "fireworks" by mistake.

"Yeah, we had no label for this kind of thing, so we wrote 'foreworks' on the box. After all, fireworks are rockets too."

Now NK will know that the South has Patriots from Germany...
If you don't want the world finding out, you don't ship it via a civilian vessel, in badly labeled boxes (unless you're a moron). You ship it via military channels.
(12-25-2011, 05:00 PM)Fredledingue Wrote: [ -> ]I understand that the Germans wanted it to keep it secret. You don't label patriot missiles "fireworks" by mistake.

I remember some of those earlier Patriots being fired against a few SCUDS in the first Gulf War, and they certainly looked like fireworks to me for all they accomplished.

Honestly, this story doesn't add up. Does anyone else have skepticism?

1) Improper labeling by Germans - odd?

2) Not properly declared by Germans - accident?

3) Odd use of a Ukrainian crew for something so important by Germans

4) Ship headed to China according to the crew's paperwork, not South Korea ( this is a weak objection I admit)

5) The USA already arms SK with patriots, as Huh showed, this is no secret. Why does Germany need to secretly dispatch them w/o proper documents?
IF we wanted to make a statement, we'd have sent them more and publicized it.

6) A chemical called "picric" acid was improperly stored. This stuff is unbelievably volatile. While Germany claimed not to be involved in the transit of that stuff( it's used in TNT I think) and probably was not, the lack of professionalism in each instance raises my red flag skepticism.

Conclusion, I remain skeptical and believe the Finns were not expected to do this.

I think picric acid might be used in making plastique or C4. TNT (dynamite) is based on nitro-glycerine (which in turn uses nitric acid), with additives that make it a little more stable. TNT stands for Tri-Nitro Toulene.
It's used for all sorts of things. Explosives from picric acid is TNP. It's, frankly, dangerous stuff.
At the ORNL we've had explosions with picric getting real old and becoming more unstable. It is toluene's main component I think.
No, it isn't.
I stand corrected. Don't know why I thought it was in toluene. I knew it was real unstable when it got old, we've had problems with legacy picric acid back in the 1990s.