For Islamic terror groups like Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab, and Al-Qaeda, up to 40% of the organizational funding for weapons, training, basic supplies and operational costs come from ivory, illegally poached from elephants and rhinos.
Fight for Rhinos Somali Muslim group, Al-Shabaab, staged a deadly terror attack on the Westgate mall attack in Nairobi in 2013. A major portion of that groups’ activities are reportedly funded by poaching of elephants and rhinos. Claims are that up to three tons of ivory are bought and sold every month through a coordinated supply chain.
Up to 40% of the funds that Al-Shabaab needs to undertake these terrorist attacks comes from rhino and elephant poaching and sold to ivory buyers and consumers. It’s not just ivory that the terrorist group is involved with, rhino horn is also a lucrative trade that helps them buy guns, ammunition and explosives.
The world has watched in horror as the scale of the Al-Shabaab attack on the Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi unfolded. It was the latest – and largest – attack in the campaign by the terrorist group which has spread across Africa.
The link between terrorism and ivory is now so strong that the term ‘blood ivory’ has been coined. Those who buy ivory now are actively supporting terrorism around the world and the murder of innocent people including children.
These groups are often the “middle men” along the chain of trade. Paying poachers less than $100 usd to do the dirty work, they gain approximately $2000/kilo in the sale of the ivory. Rhino horn is also a valued commodity for the terrorists, at a whopping $65000/kilo on the black market. An easy cash flow with little risk.
Payback’s a bitch.
One of the happier stories about Rhinos: