Terrorism Finance and Wildlife Poaching

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Last month, al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda affiliate based in the Horn of Africa, released a recruitment video showcasing its appetite for poaching. In the video, al-Shabaab members boasted that they don’t need hunting permits, proclaimed that jihad is the “tourism of the ummah (nation),” and then proceeded to kill and mutilate a giraffe that was roaming in Kenya’s Boni National Reserve.

Links between terrorist organizations and poaching is a topic that has generated a fair amount of debate. A 2011 publication by the Elephant Action League (EAL) has served as a focal point for the discussion, alleging that proceeds from poaching may comprise up to 40 percent of al-Shabaab’s operating budget.

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