Rumor-checking website Snopes.com has given reports that nearly a dozen commercial jetliners are missing from an airport in Libya a “mostly false” rating.
The State Department also told TheBlaze in an email Friday that the agency doesn't have "any information confirming these reports."
Reports of missing planes began circulating after radical Islamist militants took control of the Tripoli International Airport in August. Since then, anonymous counterterrorism officials have reportedly raised concerns about the “missing” planes and possible 9/11-style attacks as the 13th anniversary of the deadly terror attacks is just weeks away.
A picture taken on August 26, 2014, shows bullet casing and damaged airplanes on the tarmac at Tripoli international airport in the Libyan capital after fighters from the Fajr Libya (Libyan Dawn) coalition captured the airport from Zintan force, allies of rogue general Khalifa Haftar. MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP/Getty Images
But Snopes.com writes that unconfirmed blog posts about missing planes "began to be picked up by news outlets in Western Europe and passed on as fact rather than gossip; by early September those tales from translations of blogs had spread to the United States under the guise of real news."
The website notes that the U.S. State Department, Department of Defense or any other government agency have issued a statement on the reports of stolen or missing planes. The State Department later issued the previously referenced statement to TheBlaze on Friday.
“The national threat level has not been raised. Algerian and Moroccan military and air defense, already on high alert due to the unrest in nearby Libya, would undoubtedly have noticed multiple flights of unidentified passenger aircraft,” the Snopes post continues.
Finally, a thread on Airliners.net, an aviation community message board website, seemingly shows that at least two of the planes once reported “missing” were actually transported to a different airport for safety reasons. Snopes.com speculates that some of the other planes may have been damaged “beyond the possibility of operation” during the battle at the airport.