Cameron warns: Do not pay ransom money to ISIS

Paying ransoms to extremist groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is “self-defeating,” The Guardian newspaper reported UK Prime Minister David Cameron as telling world leaders at the NATO summit in Wales on Thursday.

“What matters is not your signature on a declaration, but not letting money be paid to terrorist kidnappers because that money goes into arms, it goes into weapons, it goes into terror plots it goes into more kidnaps,” Cameron said, in reference to a statement signed by the G8 last year opposing ransom payments, which he says has been breached.

He added: “It is utterly self-defeating. It is worse than self-defeating; it is actually a risk to us at home.”

While Cameron did not publicly disclose the names of the countries which paid ransoms to save their citizens, The Guardian said the prime minister is “known to be angry” that as many as three EU countries, reportedly including France, Spain and Italy, have violated the spirit of the G8 statement.

Cameron further expressed anger regarding these countries paying ransoms to terrorist groups when he said: “I am in no doubt that those countries that have allowed ransoms to be paid, that has ended up with terrorist groups – including this terrorist group – having tens of millions of dollars that they can spend on kidnapping other hostages, on preparing terrorist plots, including against us here in the UK, and in buying arms and weapons to wreak havoc.”

While the premier’s warning comes after ISIS beheaded two U.S. journalists, the extremist group continues to hold a British aid worker named David Haines hostage.

According to The Independent, Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland have denied paying ransoms, but documents gleaned by a journalist in Mali purports that they did.

The Independent estimated that ISIS generates $1.5 billion from illicit activities, including kidnapping.

By Al Arabiya

 

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