Jihadis in Syria are using Facebook as a marketplace to buy, sell and barter a wide variety of American-made weapons and munitions ranging from rocket launchers to machine guns.
A Facebook page called “The first weapons market in the Idleb countryside” showcases posts with photographs of weapons, claimed to be CIA-supplied, inviting buyers to contact page administrators privately using popular messaging application Whatsapp to discuss sales and transactions.
An AGS-17 Soviet-era grenade launcher is listed for $3,800 and below that a thermal camera made by Oregon-based company FLIR, is listed alongside posts advertising the sale of 105mm cannon shells.
Weapons like TOW and MANPAD missile launchers, which the CIA has provided to rebel groups in Iraq and Syria, and can pose serious threats to civilian and military jets, are also advertised on the page.
Throughout the course of the Syrian Civil War, efforts by the U.S. to arm so-called “moderate rebels” with heavy weapons have largely fallen flat due to fears that they will end up with groups such as Al Qaeda or even ISIS.
Buyers can also make requests for specific weapons, as one post on the page says, “Quick friends, I need a gun with a silencer.”
Page members are linked to jihadist groups Ahrar Al-Sham and the Islamic Front, the former allegedly linked to Al-Qaeda.
Update: Responding to The Foreign Desk’s report, Facebook has since removed the page.