Turkey’s Shadow Arms Deliveries
(Source OpenFacto; issued July 4, 2020)
OpenFacto is proud to present its first long-form investigative report on detecting arms embargo violations using open sources techniques.

“Turkey’s Shadow Arms Deliveries” focuses on six cases of suspected Turkish arms deliveries to Libya using commercial transportation: MV AMAZON, flight ER-BAJ, MV SINGLE EAGLE, MV BANA, MV ANA and MV PRAY.

Using social media, google map, publicly available databases and other research techniques, the report presents extensive evidence pointing to potential violations of the UN arms embargo by the Turkey.


• This report investigates the Turkish Government’s support to Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA), setting out a methodology to detect arms embargo violations through open-source research.

• OpenFacto looked at six suspected cases using the following methodology:
-- The detection of arms deliveries reported by Libyan newspaper and social media, identification of the weapons, manufacturers and links with Turkey.
-- The identification of the mode of transport, vessels/planes, reconstruction of the routes,
identification of shipping companies and assessments of their previous activities.
-- The identification of the sender and recipient of the delivery, as far as is possible.

• UN resolutions on the arms embargo on Libya indicate the circumstances under which arms deliveries are permitted or constitute a violation. Exclusions in Libya are limited to arms and material protecting international organizations and NGOs, or ensuring order for the recognized government (GNA) following approval from the UN Committee. None of the case studies were either declared, approved or fall into the above exclusions.

• Based on the research conducted for this report, OpenFacto has been able to develop a methodology for the detection of embargo or sanction violations using open-source information.

This provides a framework for initial research in the field and also highlights areas for further investigations beyond OSINT.


These six cases successfully demonstrate how Turkish manufactured heavy armament or weapons part of the Turkish arsenal have been delivered to GNA-affiliated factions in Libya. Between May 2019 and March 2020, five deliveries were identified from start to finish.

OpenFacto is a not-for-profit organization (law for associations 1901 in France), which aims to promote and support Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) in the francophone community. OpenFacto produces OSINT investigations and guides, organizes trainings and workshops, and supports newsrooms, universities and NGOs in OSINT research.

Click here for the full report (146 PDF pages), on the OpenFacto website.


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