Foreign Fighters Flock to Sinai for Libyan Arms Auctions

Jihadist Groups Take Growing Role in Arms Bazaar

Since the 2011 NATO war against Libya, looted weapons have been flowing out of the country in enormous amounts, with reports that the Sinai Peninsula was seeing the arms in late 2011. The trend has continued.

The peninsula is now host to an array of major arms bazaars, where weapons are auctioned to the highest bidders, attracting foreign factions from across the region to acquire the advanced weaponry of the Gadhafi regime.

Those arms auctions have done well, and the Sinai Peninsula’s location on the frontier between Africa and the Middle East makes it an ideal location for such sales, which are increasingly being organized by al-Qaeda linked factions, who would obviously have a long list of potential clients.

The looted arms from Libya played a direct role in the Malian civil war, and weapons have also showed up across the region, with militant factions taking advantage of easy availability to upgrade their arsenals.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.