One of the primary channels through which terrorist organizations get hard cash is ransom payments for hostages. Some, like Abu Sayyaf, a group in the Philippines that aligns itself with the Islamic State and recently beheaded a Canadian hostage, have few other sources of funding, and operate almost as mercenary outfits. Abu Sayyaf has kidnapped dozens of Filipinos and foreigners, and holds 19 right now. It has made tens of millions of dollars off hostages since its founding in the 1990s, and has spent the money on everything from weapons to speedboats.
Ransom payments are the ultimate dilemma for a government. Pay them and you fund a terrorist organization, while encouraging them to kidnap more people, perhaps especially from your country. Don’t, and the hostage will most likely end up dead.
Different governments have made different choices. Those who pay ransoms, including Italy, Germany and France, try their best to keep that practice hush-hush. On the other side are the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel and Canada, who are accustomed to defending their no-ransom policies if their citizens are
Article source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/04/28/justin-trudeau-wants-the-world-to-stop-paying-ransoms-to-terrorists/
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