The ISIL terrorist group operating in Syria and Iraq has received as much as USD 45 million in ransoms in the past year, a UN expert says.
Yotsna Lalji, a United Nations expert monitoring sanctions against al-Qaeda, warned during a meeting of the UN Security Council's counter-terrorism committee that kidnapping for ransom by ISIL and other terrorist groups continues to grow.
She added that terrorist groups have received an estimated USD 120 million in ransoms between 2004 and 2012.
Lalji said terrorist groups operating in the Middle East, Asia and Africa have made kidnapping “the core al-Qaeda tactic for generating revenue.”
The ISIL has executed several Western nationals including three Americans held hostage by the terrorists in Iraq and Syria. A young American woman remains captive.
Many governments do pay ransom to release their nationals kidnapped by terrorist groups. However, the US says it will not change its position against paying ransom for American hostages.