Conflict Armament Research report reveals

Guided Anti-Tank Missiles Purchased by CIA in Bulgaria Fell into Islamic State Hands

Екип на Биволъ

A powerful anti-tank weapon, secretly acquired by the CIA in Bulgaria, has fallen into the hands of Islamic state, BuzzFeed reports, citing information by Conflict Armament Research (CAR).

The anti-tank missiles were bought at the end of 2015 under the US secret program to arm Syrian rebels, and only two months later they ended in the hands of Islamic State terrorists, “highlighting weaknesses in the oversight and regulation of America’s covert arms programs,” author Aram Roston writes, citing CAR.

CAR has investigated weapons used by Islamic State for three years. The organization has examined the terrorist weapons that have been captured by the Iraqi, Syrian and Kurdish armed forces. The anti-tank missile “Fagot” is no exception. The report notes that significant quantities of anti-tank ammunitions delivered to Syrian opposition forces by Saudi Arabia and the United States have been intercepted.

The guided anti-tank missile – 9m111 “Fagot” was created in weapons factories in Tula at the time of the USSR, and is produced in Bulgaria by Vazov Machine Factories (VMZ). BuzzFeed News has been tracking the CIA’s procurement of 9M111 missiles for three years. According to the publication, the CIA has signed a contract for 600 such missiles with Kiesler Police Supply in 2014.

The missile intercepted by CAR has been delivered by Kiesler and was purchased in Bulgaria on December 15, 2015, according to CAR. Just 59 days later it was fired by Islamic state in Ramadi, Iraq.

Bulgaria is mentioned more than 200 times in the 201-page long report. Our country supplies more than 50% of the weapons in the conflict zone, mainly to Syria, according to the survey.


The problem with such US military supplies is the violation of the arms embargo by circumventing a number of international agreements, but there is more. An earlier BuzzFeed investigation revealed that companies involved in these supplies also have ties to the Bulgarian organized crime.

Another investigation by an international team from BIRN and OCCRP, with Bivol’s participation, proved that the Bulgarian state is one of the largest suppliers to the secret programs of the Pentagon and the CIA. The Bulgarian authorities have expressed their satisfaction with the revenues and newly-created jobs in the arms sector.

Readers can follow the BuzzFeed, BIRN, and OCCRP investigations into Bulgarian weapons delivered to Syria from the US and Saudi Arabia in our special section “Making a Killing” The “Making a Killing” investigation recently received one of the world’s most prestigious awards for investigative journalism – the Global Shining Light Award for 2017.



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