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Sunday, March 15, 2015

Cash from CIA Used to Refill Al Qaida Coffers

Yet another example of the US funding both sides of a war. 

While refusing to pay ransoms for Americans kidnapped by militant groups, money has been siphoned off to enemy fighters

MATTHEW ROSENBERG, NYTPublished: 14:42 March 15, 2015Gulf News

CIA Headquarters, Langley, Virginia  - AFP
Washington: In the spring of 2010, Afghan officials struck a deal to free an Afghan diplomat held hostage by Al Qaida. But the price was steep — $5 million (Dh18 million) — and senior security officials were scrambling to come up with the money.

They first turned to a secret fund that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) bankrolled with monthly cash deliveries to the presidential palace in Kabul, according to several Afghan officials involved in the episode. The Afghan government, they said, had already squirreled away about $1 million from that fund.

Within weeks, that money and $4 million more provided from other countries was handed over to Al Qaida, replenishing its coffers after a relentless CIA campaign of drone strikes in Pakistan had decimated the militant network’s upper ranks.

“God blessed us with a good amount of money this month,” Atiyah Abd Al Rahman, the group’s general manager, wrote in a letter to Osama Bin Laden in June 2010, noting that the cash would be used for weapons and other operational needs.

See also: More Wonders of the Dizzying World of Middle East War Financing