With Islamic jihadists groups in the Eastern Hemisphere ranging from the Philippines to the Western Sahara, the same jihadists have done everything from selling crude oil on the black market to plundering the homes of those unlucky enough to be living in a region occupied by them. And with much of the globe peppered with that many terrorist organizations, the growing cost of beheading innocent victims, displacing millions of people and the rising price of explosive vests mean the implementation of a global caliphate can run into the hundreds of millions of dollars.
As it turns out, al-Qaeda affiliates literally thousands of miles apart are both raising money in like fashion.With a history of video recording slitting the throats of captives and also burning prisoners alive, now the jihadists have taken to slaughtering a number of endangered species, then selling body parts on the Asian and Middle Eastern black markets, as reported by Lucie Aubourg of the new media VICE News portal on Oct. 20, 2015.
In the Northwestern African nation of Mali, various Islamist terrorist groups such as the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad; Ansar Dine; the Movement for Unity and Jihad; and the one group most recognized by Westerners, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb have all taken to killing the endangered desert elephant just for their ivory. In a May 21, 2014 joint report issued by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and international police force Interpol entitled “Illegal trade in wildlife: the environmental, social and and economic consequences for sustainable development” an estimated 90 percent of elephants killed in Africa each year (numbering 20,000-25,000). Using their best diplomatic-speak, the UN and Interpol have stated the rare beasts have been butchered by “non-state armed groups, in or near conflict zones.”
VICE’s Aubourg cited, MINUSMA — the UN’s peacekeeping mission in Mali — has released on their official website (thus far, only in French) that 57 elephants were killed in the Islamic jihadist-thick north of Mali during the first half of this year. The slaughtered pachyderms represent fully 20 percent of the poverty stricken nation’s remaining elephant population.
As it turns out, not only have the jihadists taken to killing the elephants, but have also murdered one of the Park Rangers tasked with their protection. Since the inception of the MINUSMA mission in April 2013, “42 peacekeepers have been killed by hostile acts — including 10 so far this year — and 166 wounded.”
Not only in North Africa, but jihadists have been killing endangered animals “in the northern Indian region of Assam, which lies on the border with Bangladesh. Separatist rebels and jihadist militants from al Qaeda-linked outfits like Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami and Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh are among the groups poaching tigers, elephants and rhinoceroses in the region.”