April 20, 2024
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April 20, 2024
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Europeans Are Paying Ransoms to Al Qaeda

Kidnapping Europeans for ransom has become a global business for al-Qaeda, bankrolling its operations across the globe. While European governments deny pay­ing ransoms, an investigation by the New York Times found that al-Qaeda and its di­rect affiliates have taken in at least $125 mil­lion in revenue from kidnappings since 2008, of which $66 million was paid just last year. The U.S. Treasury Department has cited ran­som amounts that total $165 million over the same period. Counterterrorism officials now believe al-Qaeda finances the bulk of its re­cruitment, training and arms purchases from ransoms paid to free Europeans, making Eu­rope the inadvertent underwriter of al-Qae­da.

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