The use of kidnapping for ransom (KFR) by terrorists in certain regions of the world to finance their activities is of major concern to the international community and constitutes a threat to peace, security, and development in these regions and to the right to life, liberty, and security of persons. Over the past decade, the members of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), as well as other countries and international, regional, and sub-regional organizations, through bilateral and multilateral partnerships and innovative approaches, have made significant progress in combating the flow of funds to terrorist organizations. However, the effective and efficient measures taken so far to counter the financing of terrorism have forced terrorist groups, especially those affiliated with al-Qa’ida, to adapt, i.e., to develop and rely on “new” means to finance their activities. These alternative means include smuggling, drugs and weapons trafficking, and kidnapping for the purpose of securing ransom for a hostage’s release. This last activity is particularly prevalent in the Sahel where the practice of kidnapping for ransom has become a lucrative method of funding the criminal activities of terrorist groups and has had a serious impact on the stability of, and security in, the region. However, this type of activity has not been limited to this region, as there has been an increase in KFR by terrorist groups around the globe.

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