Ransoms account for 95 percent of terrorists' funds: Algerian minister

12:58, September 22, 2010      

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An Algerian minister on Monday called on Western countries not to pay ransoms for the release of their abducted nationals in the sub-Saharan region, saying that ransoms stand for 95 percent of the funds obtained by terrorists in the region.

Algeria seeks to "mobilize all efforts to stop paying ransoms ( to terrorists), as all sides acknowledge that 95 percent of terrorism funds comes from ransoms," Minister Delegate for Maghreb and African Affairs Abdelkader Messahel told Algerian Radio.

Algeria has repeatedly criticized decisions by some European countries to pay ransoms to terrorists for the release of their nationals kidnapped in the region.

Algeria will continue its efforts on the international level to criminalize the payment of ransom for the release of hostages, the minister added.

"We seek to add two articles to resolution 1904 on confronting al-Qaida to criminalize the payment of ransoms," he said.

Messahel also called on the European Union to support the Algerian efforts towards that end. "I told my European colleagues that it is not enough to say that their governments do not pay ransoms. The EU has to take measure to criminalize it," he said.

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