Governments have paid £42m in ransoms to al-Qa'ida and other terrorist groups in last three years, UN told
Britain’s ambassador, Sir Mark Lyall Grant, puts forward draft resolution calling on UN member states 'to prevent terrorists from benefiting directly or indirectly from ransom payments'
More than £42 million ($70m) paid in ransoms over the last three years has been handed to al-Qa'ida and other terrorists, the United Nations was told last night.
Sir Mark Lyall Grant, Britain’s ambassador to the UN, revealed the estimate as he called for governments to prevent ransoms that finance terrorism from being paid.
He said there is “an increasing threat” of kidnaps intended to benefit terror groups and he put forward a draft resolution that calls on the 193 UN member states “to prevent terrorists from benefiting directly or indirectly from ransom payments”.
"We want to make it much more difficult for terrorists to benefit from this sort of financing," he said.
A UN diplomat said there's been an upward trend in the overall number of kidnappings by terrorist groups, and an average of over $2 million is being paid per foreign hostage.
Ransom payments have become the single largest source of income for northern Africa's al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb and al-Qa'ida in the Arabian peninsula, the diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
The draft resolution follows a communique issued in June by G-8 leaders at their summit in Northern Ireland in which they expressed concern at "the increasingly fragmented and geographically diverse threat posed by terrorist groups including al-Qa'ida and its affiliates," and, "the threat posed by kidnapping for ransom by terrorists."
"Payments to terrorists from Sahel to the Horn of Africa helped fuel instability in the region, and contributed to large scale attacks," the communique said. Ransom money also supports recruitment efforts and improvements in the operational capability of terrorist groups.
The draft resolution is aimed at halting ransom money being used to finance terrorism. It is not aimed at criminal kidnapping for ransom or piracy for financial purposes.
- 2 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 4 Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
'Fire at every person you see': Israeli soldiers reveal they were ordered to shoot to kill in Gaza – even if the targets may have been civilians
Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
Who should I vote for? The Independent quiz matches best political party for undecided voters ahead of the general election
First-time buyers in London 'need to earn at least £77,000'
General Election 2015: Photographic history of Bullingdon Club tracked down - including new picture of David Cameron in his finery
In defence of liberal democracy
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
£25000 - £30000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: Sthree are looking fo...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + commission: SThree: Real Staffing's Pharmaceutical...
£18000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Can you speak German,...