Greek authorities have seized a freighter carrying an undeclared shipment of weapons en route from Turkey to Libya, coast guard officials said on Wednesday. The coastguard told IBTimes UK more information about the operation will be released at a later stage.
The coast guard identified the cargo vessel as the Haddad 1, which sailed from the Turkish port of Iskenderun on August 29 and was headed for Libya’s western harbor of Misrata. Reports indicate that the weapons are linked to an ISIS-affiliated militant group in Libya.
The ship was taken to a port for a further search and investigation.
In recent months, Libya has become a magnet for radical jihadists as the north African country has slid into chaos in the aftermath of the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that toppled longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
Local media however reported the ship was sailing towards Libya when it was stopped, adding it is believed the weapons were intended for an IS local offshoot. Each of Libya’s rival governments and ISIS are under a United Nations arms embargo.
“If we fail to have arms provided to us, this can only play into the hands of extremists”, he warned.