Millennium Post

Two-faced terror

The startling revelations by Abdul Subhan, the recently arrested Lashkar-e-Toiba top gun, lay bare how ransom money from high-profile kidnappings, including those of industrialists and those with highest political connections, has been rerouted to finance terror operations across the globe. Circuits of such illegal monetary transactions find their way into heart of Europe and America, which quietly supply the pounds and dollars that sustain networks of Islamic jihad and other fundamentalisms.

While a ransom of Rs five crore was demanded from Burman’s family and finally a settlement was reached at Rs 3.75 crore, it has been now discovered that the entire sum was redirected to keep afloat terror outfits and had also gone into the larger reservoir of funds that ensured the 9/11 attack on World Trade Center. A recent investigative report by The New York Times charts out how millions of euros and dollars find their way out of Euro-America in covert underhand deals that presidents, bureaucrats and big corporate onchos of smaller African and European nations strike with extremists and militants, in order to get back top-level officials, journalists and others without causing as much as a stir in the public sphere.

In fact, substantial portion of ransom money is dressed as humanitarian aid to conflict-ridden countries in North Africa and West Asia, and more often than not, non-governmental organisations act as charity shops and fronts to facilitate such seamy transactions. Negotiations and backchannel diplomacy with enough financial muscle happen in remote, landlocked countries, far away from prying cameras or television debates, even as we go on pondering how the terror networks are sustaining themselves. It’s obvious that Saudi petrodollars are not alone: it’s the ‘clean’ Euro-American money that’s acting as the ‘dangerous supplement.’       
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