|Elephant tusks burn at the Tsavo West National Park in Kenya.|
How did the Keyan Mall Terrorists (al-Shabab) finance their massacre? Illegal elephant poaching for up to 40% of the costs. Wonderful.
Al Shabab is financing a significant portion of its military operations by poaching elephants. A 2011 report by the Elephant Action League, whose mission is to fight elephant exploitation and wildlife crime, dubs elephant ivory “the white gold of jihad.”Well, stopping elephant poaching might actually become a laudable military aim to put a massive dent in terrorism, if the West wants to act more intelligently that is.
An 18-month investigation by the organization into the dramatic rise in elephant poaching by “Somalian gangs” concluded that almost half of all funding for Shabab’s terrorist activities was derived from elephant poaching in Kenya. Investigations have uncovered a sophisticated network of poachers and brokers tied to Shabab; the terrorist group leverages its military arm to build contacts with international crime syndicates and illegal wildlife brokers in Asia. In fact, while it is difficult to trace illegal ivory as a commodity, ivory has been found in former strongholds of Shabab,
Elephant ivory sold on the black market is highly profitable. In 2012, ivory fetched as much as $7,000 a kilogram in China, depending on its quality. At those prices, elephant slaughter is an easy way for terrorist groups like Shabab to rake in the cash: the ivory from just five elephants is probably enough to fund an attack of the sort we saw in Nairobi.
As aptly put by the Elephant Action League, the “deadly path of conflict ivory starts with the slaughter of innocent animals and ends in the slaughter of innocent people.”
Related links: Kenya Mall Islamic Terrorists Financed Killing People by Killing Elephants ~ FrontPage
The White Gold of Jihad ~ Winds of Jihad
'Blood Ivory': Brutal Elephant Slaughter Funds African Conflicts ~ Spiegal Online