- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Rebel fighters in Syria, some linked to Al Qaeda jihadist groups, are using Facebook to buy and sell heavy artillery and ammunition, including “CIA-supplied” rocket launchers.

One post on a Facebook page advertises an AGS-15 Soviet-Era grenade launcher for $3,800, and another touts a TOW missile launcher, which the seller claims comes from “the U.S. Pentagon,” British news organization the Mirror reported.

Other posts on the page, called “The First Weapons Market in Idlib Countryside,” show MANPADs, a type of missile launcher capable of bringing down both civilian and military jets. The missile launcher is advertised for a whopping $67,000.

The CIA has supplied TOW anti-tank missiles to U.S.-backed rebels in Syria since 2013. 

It is believed Islamic State terrorists used one of the missiles to strike an Egyptian Navy ship in September.

Some of the users active on the page have been linked to Al Qaeda-affiliated groups such as Ahar Al-Sham and the Islamic Front, prompting fears that the weapons advertised on the page could fall into terrorists hands.

Other items up for sale on the Facebook page include cannon shells and a thermal camera made by a U.S. company called FLIR in Oregon, according to the Mirror.

Sellers instruct interested buyers to get in touch with them “in private” via WhatsApp, an encrypted mobile messaging app.


• Kellan Howell can be reached at khowell@washingtontimes.com.

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