In early August 2014, some North African bloggers began to spread stories that several commercial airliners were missing from the Tripoli International threat levelAirport during or shortly after the facility was taken over by Zintan militia forces earlier in the summer. Later that month translations of the blog posts began to be picked up by news outlets in Western Europe and passed on as fact rather than gossip; by early September those tales of translations of blogs had spread to the United States under the guise of real news.
The use of airplanes as terrorist weapons in 2001 makes it all too easy for us to anticipate their being used that way again. And despite denials from all sides — the airlines who are not missing any planes, the Libyan transport ministry, and the anti-government forces in control of the airport — the tales have found a ready audience among a populace already on edge in anticipation of the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
However, there have been no statements from the State Department, the Department of Defense, Homeland Security, or any other authority warning of stolen airliners. The national has not been raised. Algerian and Moroccan military and air defense, already on high alert due to the unrest just across their borders with Libya, would undoubtedly have noticed multiple flights of unidentified passenger aircraft.