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Al Qaedageld
Germany Pays Millions to an al-Qaeda Affiliate for Hostages

Two German hostages in the Philippines are safe from beheading thanks to a German government envoy handing over a large ransom to an al-Qaeda affiliate. As Deutsche Welle reports:

Al Kataib, a man who described himself as an associate of militant spokesman, Abu Rami, said in a telephone call to reporters in Zamboanga City that the group got a portion of the 250 million Philippine pesos ($5.56 million) they had demanded by Friday and “would not touch” the German they had threatened to behead[….]

German government sources told Reuters that Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier had sent a special envoy to the Philippines to negotiate the deal. Envoy Ruediger Koenig had arrived in Manilla on Thursday evening, according to the sources.

According to a local radio station, DXRZ, the hostages – a 72-year-old German man along with his female 55-year-old partner – had been freed, German news agency dpa reported, adding that this had not been verified.

While the sources so far have not disclosed exact figures this is just the latest example of a worrying trend. As the New York Times reported in July, European governments have paid tens of millions of dollars to al-Qaeda affiliates in the past year alone, and kidnapping European tourists for ransom is a large, and increasing, source of funding for terrorist groups. While the adage of “not negotiating with terrorists” is not an absolute one– witness the Bowe Bergdahl trade– it’s difficult to see the wisdom in acceding to the demands of terrorists on such a routine basis.

Part of this, of course, is that Europeans travel overseas more often than Americans, and are therefore more likely to be kidnapped in the first place. But as we’ve noted before, the perverse result of these payments is that Europeans are now being specifically targeted. In America, the standard assumption is that hostages should be rescued by the military. And although France and Germany have successfully carried out hostage rescue missions in the past, it’s troubling that the European motto seems to be “millions for tribute, not one cent for defense.”

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  • ShadrachSmith

    Is anybody else thinking Barbary Pirates? Same ol, same ol.

    • Andrew Allison

      Not at all. It’s another example of the total lack not just of moral fibre but also of common sense of an emasculated EU incapable of grasping that they are inviting further kidnapping. They are also, incidentally, signalling Putin that he too can have his way with them.

  • Fat_Man

    “Dane-Geld: A.D. 980-1016” by Rudyard Kipling

    It is always a temptation to an armed and agile nation
    To call upon a neighbour and to say: —
    “We invaded you last night–we are quite prepared to fight,
    Unless you pay us cash to go away.”

    And that is called asking for Dane-geld,
    And the people who ask it explain
    That you’ve only to pay ’em the Dane-geld
    And then you’ll get rid of the Dane!

    It is always a temptation for a rich and lazy nation,
    To puff and look important and to say: —
    “Though we know we should defeat you, we have not the time to meet you.
    We will therefore pay you cash to go away.”

    And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
    But we’ve proved it again and again,
    That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
    You never get rid of the Dane.

    It is wrong to put temptation in the path of any nation,
    For fear they should succumb and go astray;
    So when you are requested to pay up or be molested,
    You will find it better policy to say: —

    “We never pay any-one Dane-geld,
    No matter how trifling the cost;
    For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
    And the nation that pays it is lost!”

  • FriendlyGoat

    Europe would probably be better off with its citizens outraged over beheadings carried out. Many of them do not yet understand how big the problem is which they have with Islam, and their governments paying money to it ain’t gonna help.

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