Kidnappings Bolster al-Qaida Finances

Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 06:46 AM

By Elliot Jager

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
With France in the lead at $58 million, European governments including Switzerland, Spain, and Austria have financed al-Qaida and its affiliates by paying ransom in exchange for hostages, The New York Times reported.

The terrorists have generated at least $125 million from kidnappings since 2008 – $66 million in 2013 alone, the newspaper said.

The payments are sometimes laundered as humanitarian aid to Africa, as Germany has done through the offices of the president of Mali. Sometimes Qatar or Oman serve as intermediaries, the Times reported.

Al-Qaida's terror network is no longer financed primarily by wealthy Gulf Arabs, as The Guardian reported in 2010. Instead, the Islamist terror group self-finances from payoffs for captured Europeans. "Europe has become an inadvertent underwriter of al-Qaida," the Times reported.

In early years, Sunni Islamists would take hostages, such Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in 2002, to behead them. More recently, the groups have refined their hostage-taking, and few hostages are executed. They are worth much more alive.

The U.S. Treasury Department confirmed to the Times that the chief source of al-Qaida financing is ransom payments.

The United States and Britain do not generally ransom their hostages, according to the newspaper. Of 53 hostages taken by al-Qaida, only three were American.

"It's obvious that al-Qaida is targeting them by nationality," Jean-Paul Rouiller, director of the Geneva Center for Training and Analysis of Terrorism, told the Times. "Hostages are an investment, and you are not going to invest unless you are pretty sure of a payout."

Most Europeans who have fallen into al-Qaida's hands were trekking through Muslim Africa and the Middle East attending music festivals or camping in places such as Algeria, Mali, Niger, Syria, and Yemen.

With negotiations sometimes handled out of al-Qaida's central command in Pakistan, the ransom beneficiaries include al-Qaida affiliates in North Africa, Yemen, and Somalia. Osama bin Laden was known to have personally monitored negotiations over individual kidnappings, the Times said.

Actual hostage taking is often outsourced to local criminal gangs, the Times reported. Al-Qaida has a protocol for managing kidnappings. It calls for psychological warfare, alternating long periods of silence about the fate of the hostages with showing them on video begging their governments to ransom them.

"Kidnapping hostages is an easy spoil," wrote Nasser al-Wuhayshi, an al-Qaida chief in Yemen, "which I may describe as a profitable trade and a precious treasure," the Times reported.

Related Stories:


© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

EU Presses Google for Global 'Right to Be Forgotten'

Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014 21:36 PM

The European Union is pressing tech giant Google to expand the right to be forgotten to all its search tools.
A r . . .

Ex-Spanish Pres. Aznar: US Striking 'A Very Bad Deal' With Iran

Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014 21:28 PM

Western leaders routinely declare that no nuclear agreement with Iran would be better than a bad one. For the most part, . . .

Global Ebola Death Toll Rises to 5,689

Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014 20:09 PM

The World Health Organization said Thursday that the global death toll from the Ebola virus had increased to 5,689 out o . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved