(NEWSER) – Brit Edwin Dyer was kidnapped in 2009 by al-Qaeda in North Africa, along with a German and a Swiss couple. Like the US, Britain doesn’t pay ransoms and didn’t in this case—and Dyer was killed. But his fellow captives were released after their governments paid al-Qaeda a collective $10.7 million; that same year, Swiss lawmakers added a line item in their budget for humanitarian aid … code for ransom money, reports the New York Times. European governments—mostly France, Spain, and Switzerland—routinely pay al-Qaeda ransoms for captive citizens, else they be killed. In short, "Europe has become an inadvertent underwriter" of the terror group, writes Rukmini Callimachi. And it's big money: about $125 million since 2008 and $66 million last year alone.
Posted Thursday, July 31st 2014 @ 10am by Shelley Hazen, Newser Staff