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Intl Organized Crime: Al Qaeda in Maghreb AQIM revenues up 1500% in 10 years, sources are kidnapping, trafficking, smuggling and drugs..

AQIM terrorists

AQIM terrorists

This recent killing showed that regardless of the setbacks it has endured, AQIM is a tougher and richer organization than most had believed. In the last ten years, AQIM has made over US$200 million through the Kidnapping For Ransom (KFR) business alone, making it one of the wealthiest “firms” in northern Mali.

From 2003 – 2007, AQIM averaged one “Kidnapping for Ransom” a year at a rate of $2 million per person according to several media reports and  a Swiss think-tank. Those same sources report that in the five years through 2012, the number of kidnapping cases rose – averaging 4 per year, while demanding ransoms of up to $8 million per hostage – an exponential increase in AQIM’s annual revenues of almost 1500%.


Kidnapping for ransom was AQIM’s largest niche, but it has had other sources of income as well.  According to estimates released by terrorism experts, the terror organization gleaned revenues of about $100 million from diversified sources, including arms and human trafficking, smuggling of cigarettes and narcotics.


AQIM didn’t work alone and was thinking big. In the mid-2000’s it established in partnerships with international drug cartels in Colombia and Bolivia that helped it acquire sophisticated know-how in telecommunications, money laundering and cash management.  GO TO SOURCE HERE