Al Qaeda has secretly collected at least $125 million in kidnapping ransoms from European governments looking to buy back hostages from Africa and the Middle East, a report claimed Tuesday.
The hefty cash payments date back to 2008, including $66 million in the past year alone, according to the New York Times.
Despite official denials, the money comes “almost exclusively” from European governments that funnel it through a network of intermediaries, often disguising it as “development aid,” sources told the Times.
The paper also cited thousands of pages of internal al Qaeda documents that laid out the inner workings of its kidnapping racket.
Those documents were found last year in northern Mali by a Times reporter while on assignment for the Associated Press.
Full article: Euro governments paying secret ransoms to al Qaeda (New York Post)