October 21, 2013
al-Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula Financed Almost Exclusively Through Ransom
Dominik Neubauer stared into the camera, the steel barrel of an assault rifle pointed at his head.So when your little naive progressive college student decides to Sit A Year in some misunderstood Islamic country, Johnny may come home in one piece if you get your government to pay, but the ransom will be used to murder some other family's child.
A Yemeni "tribe" had taken him hostage, the 26-year-old Austrian student said in English, a tear rolling down his left cheek. If they aren't paid a ransom, he continued, "they will kill me seven days after this video is published."
Over the last two years, AQAP, as Western officials refer to the group, has extorted $20 million in ransom money, according to an estimate by Alistair Burt, who until this month was the top British diplomatic official for the Middle East.
If those payments continue, "AQAP's attack capability in Yemen and against its friends and neighbors will only strengthen," he said at a recent diplomatic meeting in New York. Kidnapping has become the group's single largest source of funds, U.S. and European officials say.
Much of the money comes with the complicity of Western governments that have rebuffed British and American exhortations not to pay ransoms....
The victim will likely be a poor oppressed Muslim who just wasn't the right kind of Muslim.
Think about it.