REVEALED: How Europe Funds Boko Haram Insurgency
A New York Times Investigative report has detailed how the dreaded Boko Haram sect is getting funds from Europe to execute its deadly assault on the Nigerian nation and its people.
According to the report, the Europeans have become catalyst for the widespread of terrorist activities in Africa and the world at large, stating that the payment of ransom for kidnapped Europeans aids al-Qaeda’s global business across the world.
The ransom paid by these Europeans is used to purchases arms, trains and finances its members through these ransoms.
The report said…
Even though they deny paying ransoms, it was found that European countries paid al-Qaeda and its direct affiliates at least $125 million in revenue from kidnappings since 2008, of which $66 million was paid in 2013.
This is despite numerous agreements calling for an end to ransom paying, including the 2013 G8 summit, where some of the biggest ransom payers in Europe signed a declaration agreeing to stamp out the practice.
Quite naturally, the foreign ministries of Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland and other countries denied paying terrorists. But the United States Treasury Department was reported to have put ransom payments at around $165 million over the same period. These payments were through a network of proxies, and in the guise of development aid, the report said.
“Kidnapping for ransom has become today’s most significant source of terrorist financing,” said the Treasury Department’s Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, David S. Cohen, in a 2012 speech.
“Each transaction encourages another transaction,” he added.
While in 2003 the kidnappers received around $200,000 per hostage, now they are netting up to $10 million, money that the second in command of al-Qaeda’s central leadership recently described as accounting for as much as half of his operating revenue.
According to reports, in 2010, a state-controlled French company paid $40.4 million to rescue four French nationals, while another paid $17.7 million to rescue two French nationals from Togo and Madagascar, respectively.
In the previous year, terrorists received $12.4 million from Switzerland. In 2011, $5.1 million was received from Spain.
Europe has, thus, become al-Qaeda’s cash cow.
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