Rise of kidnapping by terror groups is urgent threat, says US

Islamist militants are increasingly funding themselves through kidnapping, with al-Qaida’s north African wing likely to have brought in tens of millions of dollars in ransoms in the past few years, a US treasury official has said.

The US estimated that militant groups including al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (Aqim) received $120m (£75m) in ransoms over the past decade, said David Cohen, undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.

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