Hamas fighters with U.S. weapons. [Source:]

Officials from Pakistan, India, and Israel have confirmed—after the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan—U.S. weapons left behind have been found in the hands of terrorist groups. This issue gained significant attention when, on October 7, 2023, Hamas launched attacks on Israel.

British politician Jim Ferguson wrote on X—formerly Twitter—and shared a link from Aamaj News, along with a photograph depicting Taliban militants armed with American weapons. In this tweet, Ferguson explicitly connected this situation to the Hamas attack on Israel.

Additionally, he referenced a high-ranking Israel Defense Forces (IDF) commander who disclosed in an interview with Newsweek that “U.S. weapons left in Afghanistan by the Biden administration were found in the hands of Palestinian groups operating in the Gaza Strip.”

On October 4, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), a few days before the Hamas attack, shared on X—formerly Twitter an image of an M-16 rifle – owned by two terrorists – that was used in an attack on an Israeli security forces vehicle.


M-16 is a high-tech American-made assault rifle, and a 2021 Reuters report revealed that the United States had provided Afghan forces with at least 600,000 infantry weapons, including M16 assault rifles, along with 162,000 pieces of communication equipment and 16,000 night-vision goggle devices.

However, experts interviewed by PolitiFact have not ruled out the possibility of Hamas hands U.S. weapons—a military expert at the Washington Institute, a pro-Israel U.S. think tank, pointed out that Hamas could acquire U.S. weapons through black market purchases or by capturing weapons that the U.S. had sent to Israel.

Meanwhile, on October 8, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., posted on X—formerly Twitter, called for closer collaboration with Israel to trace serial numbers on any U.S. weapons used by Hamas against Israel: ‘And—Did they come from Afghanistan?’


At the same time, the CIA’s World Factbook stated, ‘the military wing of Hamas hands out light weapons—including improvised rockets, anti-tank missiles, and mortars. Additionally, Hamas acquires its weapons through smuggling and local construction and receives some military support from Iran.’ However, in a 60 Minutes interview on CBS News, President Biden was cautious about drawing a direct connection between Iran and Gaza in the conflict. He stated, ‘There is no clear evidence of that,’ regarding Iran’s involvement in the Gaza conflict.

World Concerns:

On September 4, 2023, Pakistani Prime Minister Anwaar ul Haq Kakar claimed that U.S.military equipment left behind in Afghanistan had reached the hands of militants, including the Pakistani Taliban, also known as Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Kakar stated that US military equipment—ranging from firearms to night-vision goggles.


This claim was substantiated by the Pakistan Army has officially verified that an attack by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants in Chitral district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa—near Afghanistan border.

According to the Pakistani military, 12 militants were killed, but the clash with the Islamist combatants—backed by the Afghan Taliban—led to the loss of four Pakistani soldiers. Although the Afghan Taliban keeps saying they don’t support the TTP—but it is unclear (United States Institute of Peace, 2022).

Furthermore, in Indian-controlled Kashmir, there was a sudden increase in the presence of American-made weapons such as M4s and M16s, which were not commonly seen in that region before. These weapons are wielded by militants attempting to annex the region for Pakistan, a surge attributed to the U.S.-funded arms ending up in the hands of the Taliban following the 2021 withdrawal of U.S.-led NATO forces from Afghanistan.

A poster with different types of weapons

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Many of these weapons are associated with terrorist organizations based in Pakistan, such as Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which operate in both Pakistan and Kashmir. NBC has reported incidents, like the confiscation of an M4 carbine, during clashes with JeM militants.

“TTP videos show apparent attacks on Pakistani police and army outposts by militants armed with American weapons.” [Source:]

But India Today—according to Pakistani experts—stated that the M4 carbines come from weapons bazaars in Pakistan, which include the one in Darra Adam Khel, near Peshawar.

Darra Adam Khel is renowned for its black-market bazaars—brimming with counterfeit American rifles, replica revolvers, and AK-47 copies.’ Situated in the conservative tribal belt, Darra Adam Khel has earned a ‘wild west’ reputation—due to decades of militancy and drug-running between Pakistan and Afghanistan, VOA reported.

“Arms dealer Hakimullah Afridi, left, displays a locally made automatic weapon to a customer at his shop in Darra Adamkhel, south of Peshawar, Pakistan, Dec. 14, 2022.” [Source:]

India, too, reported terrorists in Kashmir using American-made arms and ammunition—such as steel-core bullets and night-vision goggles—left behind by U.S.-led NATO forces in Afghanistan. The Indian Department of Defense stated that armor-piercing bullets penetrated soldiers’ bulletproof jackets, prompting Indian authorities to address the threat.


According to the New York Times, the Taliban seizing power, more American weapons and military accessories are now openly sold in shops by Afghan gun dealers—individuals who paid government soldiers and Taliban fighters for guns, ammunition, and other materials—in Kandahar Province in southern Afghanistan.

Furthermore, the Afghan Peace Watch and Small Arms Survey report—titled ‘Arms Smuggling Dynamics under Taliban Rule‘—highlights an eye-opening revelation: a Taliban fighter in Nangarhar province, bordering Pakistan, states that night vision devices are being sold for prices ranging from $500 to $1,000. What’s even more noteworthy is that the fighter’s commander has gone on record, emphasizing Chinese interest in American night vision technology, with offers reaching as high as $2,500 for such equipment.

The 2021 U.S. Afghanistan withdrawal has raised concerns about global security due to the accessibility of advanced American weaponry by terrorist groups. This situation places responsibility on both the U.S. government and profit-driven arms-selling firms, resulting in unintended weapon distribution and a substantial $7 billion loss for the Pentagon to the Taliban.

The question arises: how do these U.S.-manufactured weapons make their way into the hands of terrorist organizations like Jaish-e-Muhammad, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in Pakistan, and Hamas in the Palestinian territory?

A thorough examination of arms smuggling, black-market sales, and potential regional support reveals the underlying causes. Furthermore, investigating how the Taliban facilitates the distribution of these weapons to terrorists and identifying the beneficiaries of this perilous trade is imperative to understanding the full scope of the issue.

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  1. How can we be sure that the sources of all this information are reliable? For example we do not know anything about this unnamed high ranking IDF officer who disclosed this information. Should we just blindly trust that everything is true based on things that people say.

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