The Associated Press reports: The Islamic State group which controls a large swath of Syria and Iraq has received between $35 million and $45 million in ransom payments in the past year, a U.N. expert monitoring sanctions against al-Qaida said Monday.
Yotsna Lalji told a meeting of the U.N. Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee that an estimated $120 million in ransom was paid to terrorist groups between 2004 and 2012.
Kidnapping for ransom “continues to grow,” she said, as demonstrated by the money the extremist group calling itself the Islamic State has collected, between $35 million and $45 million in the past years.
She said in recent years that al-Qaida and its affiliates have made kidnapping “the core al-Qaida tactic for generating revenue.” She pointed to an October 2012 recording in which al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri incites militants worldwide to kidnap Westerners. [Continue reading…]
Meanwhile, Rudaw reports: The Islamic State (ISIS) has taken captive dozens of family members of Iraq’s defense minister in Mosul, a Kurdish official said.
Ismat Rajab, Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) official for the Mosul area said that on Sunday, ISIS militants arrested 78 family members of Khalid al-Obeidi, Iraq’s defense minister, among them brothers and cousins of the minister.