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French ransom payments boomerang

July 27, 2011

France brought it on itself. France’s payment of a $15 to $20 million ransom to the Taliban reported earlier this month has emboldened Al Qaeda to demand $90 million in ransom for four French hostages in Africa. La Belle France has turned its French citizens into merchandise over which to haggle at an Arab bazaar. For the West, horrifying; for al Qaeda, jackpot.

From Ansamed (h/t RoP):

TUNIS, JULY 25 – More than 300 days into an imprisonment that risks prolonging even further. The four French nationals who were captured in September of last year have literally disappeared into a “black hole” created by Al Qaeda in the Maghreb. The hostages appear to be an investment for the future of the terrorist organisation, which does not intend to lower the enormous ransom set at 90 million euros, according to the most recent reports. For Delie Larribe, Theirry Dole, Marc Feret and Pierre Legrand, a positive end to the story in a short period of time seems unlikely because they are pawns in a larger game being played by AQMI in the Sahel, which is perhaps the most potentially at risk zone on the global terrorism panorama. The situation has escalated to the point that the countries in the area (with Algeria leading the way) have allied themselves in their anti-terrorism efforts. But this is only true in terms of their military operations, and certainly does not involve searching for hostages swallowed up in the abyss that Al Qaida has succeeded in creating around their prisoners, like Italian national Maria Sandra Mariani, who disappeared in Algeria in February. It is difficult to say where the hostages are being held, even for French intelligence officials who are extremely active in the area and who have built up a solid collaboration with their Algerian counterparts. Recent events in the area have fuelled worries regarding the increasingly “professional” operations conducted by AQMI following their affiliation with the “mother ship”, which has translated into constant military pressure, especially along the border between Mali and Mauritania (with Algeria and Niger ready to collaborate) and into an attempt to manage the flourishing kidnapping industry, which, has raised the stakes with the four French hostages, and therefore, their potential revenue.

Ransom money could be reinvested to acquire weapons, especially after a thriving parallel market opened up with the war in Libya, for the most part regarding the weapons in the Libyan arsenal that have been recently acquired, mainly from Russia.

One comment

  1. […] on the great ransom boomerang hurled by the French to the jihadists of the world after France gave the Taliban $15 to $20 […]



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