Political parties have promised to press charges against people posting racist rants on social media about Diwali celebrations and fireworks. File photo: Stoyan Nenov

London - Weapons capable of shooting down a passenger plane and which could be used to wage war in Europe are being traded on Facebook in Libya.

A terrifying arsenal of rocket-propelled grenade launchers and anti-aircraft guns are being sold among secret groups on the social network site, a study has found.

Terror experts say the equipment could end up in the hands of terrorists and smuggled into Europe to enable jihadis to commit atrocities. They added that the ‘great threat’ was to civilian planes.

Raffaello Pantucci, at the think-tank Royal United Services Institute, said: “We can see the weapons are leaking out.”

“Given the flow that we already see of human trafficking and other sorts of illicit flows across the water into Europe it is not beyond the realm of possibility that we could see some of these weapons going across the water into Europe.”

A report published on Fridday by the Small Arms Survey covered 18 months.

One of its authors, Nic Jenzen-Jones, said: ‘While the bulk of the traded [items] were traditional small arms, there were also the more significant systems that could have battlefield impacts or terrorist use.’

A spokesman for Facebook said: “It’s against Facebook’s community standards to co-ordinate private sales of firearms, and we remove any such content as soon as we become aware of it.”

Daily Mail