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.
- 1 Malaysian cyclist could face disciplinary action after 'Save Gaza' gloves protest
- 2 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 3 Fifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage from US parenting groups
- 4 McDonald’s removes chicken nuggets from the menu in Hong Kong amid major food scare
- 5 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israeli targeting policy under scrutiny after shellfire hits a mother and child, a school full of refugees and a doctor’s home
Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
McDonald’s removes chicken nuggets from the menu in Hong Kong amid major food scare
Satellite full of sexually experimental geckos adrift in space, Russia loses control of mission
Costa Concordia finally towed from Giglio amid environmental concerns that cruise liner is a 'floating bomb'
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...
Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...
£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established software house ba...