With the world run on a platform of corruption, greed and war, the battle against terrorism identifies two major types of extremists:
- The fundamental terrorist groups out to make Europe and the US and others pay for their past and present deeds through mass killing of innocent souls without remorse and;
2. Terrorist groups killing to instill fear while doing ‘Big Business’ behind the scenes. YES! By this I mean oil transactions and taking of hostages against a heavy ransom.
The first group, radical in nature carry out terrorist activities that are non-negotiable as someone has to pay for lives ruined and damages caused in their societies. In this area, European superpowers and the US have no one else to blame as they have actively powered global pandemonium over the years and continue till date.
The second group of terrorists take a greedier and commercialized approach, a complex mechanism involving members of governments and lots of money to be made from governments through the capture of hostages and other business activities. This group of terrorists unlike the first group have totally lost ‘The Cause’, disregarding religion and acting mainly upon instructions like mercenaries.
The fight against Boko Haram has been a clear known example of an orchestrated scheme in which paying a ransom for the release of French hostages involved authorities both in France and the concerned African countries (mainly Cameroon and Nigeria) who together share the pie, including a number of the same hostages who belong to the network.
Money disbursed by governments either in covert or counter-terrorism operations or as ransom is money NEVER accounted for. This puts the negotiators at a point of self-enrichment as any story can be redesigned to fall in line with the desired outcomes without justification.
The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), has taken the profile of a business organization with numerous revenue streams from donations by sponsors and rich individuals who support their work or ideologies to extortion, taxes and other fees levied on individuals and businesses within ISIS-controlled areas of Iraq and Syria. Their main income stream though, has been oil sales which have fallen due to airstrikes on the oil fields they control. In 2014, Isis was known to make an estimated revenue of over $2 billion. ISIS has a monthly income of about $40 million.
Similarly the US invasion and continued occupation of Afghanistan from October 2001, with ever renewed promises of military withdrawal raised eyebrows globally and is no a secret to anyone. The US so far spends the most on counter-terrorism efforts, at least $100 billion a year ranging from cash payments for Intel received from informants to luxury gifts to military spending. Of course much of that is also classified.
Under the grounds of fighting a never ending war against the Taliban and terrorism in Afghanistan, the Opium trade in Afghanistan-Pakistan region is a multibillion dollar market which continues to this date to be protected by US-NATO occupation forces on behalf of powerful financial interests. The region continues to enjoy an increasing trade volume despite an initial drug eradication program by the US and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
The questions we should be asking ourselves therefore are – how implicated are many governments in terrorist acts?
How credit-worthy is nation’s leadership that puts the lives of the citizens at risk through irresponsible actions?
When Boko Haram kidnapped the 200+ Chibok girls, no one believe that 2 years on their whereabouts would still remain unknown despite sophisticated surveillance technology the western powers possess. Satellites in space and drones were able to point out the location of 1 man, Muammar Qaddafi, but not the 200 Chibok girls.
With the global state of affairs, terrorism has come to stay not only as part of a money making mechanism but also to instill regional/ global fear for personal gains, the release of a hostage of prisoner, or a cause. Terrorism stems from the powerful elite world leaders.