The Pentagon lost track of sensitive equipment from a $750 million program to help U.S. soldiers spot roadside bombs — and some of it wound up for sale on eBay, Craigslist and other websites, according to a Navy intelligence document obtained by The Intercept.
The missing equipment includes thermal optic imaging and night vision devices that were supplied to U.S. forces to help locate improvised explosive devices, the leading killer of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, as well as related threats. “Since 2009, some of this advanced hardware has been reported as missing and is actively being sold or discussed on the global market on a variety of websites,” says an intelligence brief by the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service and its Multiple Threat Alert Center.
The March 12, 2014 document is titled “Diversion and Illegal Sales of Restricted USG Optical Systems” and is marked “For Official Use Only.” It lists 13 websites where the military equipment was listed for sale, including Craigslist, eBay, texasguntalk.com and sportfishermen.com, among others. “Items have been marketed as sporting goods; hunting equipment; bird-watching equipment and camping supplies,” the report notes.