Since 2011, Libya has become a hot spot of illicit weapons sales, many of which occur through messaging applications and social media networks, according to a report released Tuesday.
The report — which tracks more than 1,300 attempted online sales from 2014 to 2015 — was published by the Geneva-based Small Arms Survey, and uses data collected and analyzed by the group Armament Research Services. Although its authors say that the data set is only a small fraction of illicit arms sales in Libya, the report highlights trends in the growing trade.
Weapons from 26 countries, including the United States, China, Belgium and Turkey, were found in the 1,346 tracked sales, according to the report. Although most of the small arms were for self-defense and sporting purposes, some of the people involved in the transfers had ties to Libyan militia groups. […]