United Nations: Taliban act like gangsters not would-be government

They said the Taliban, who ruled Afghanistan from 1996-2001, appear to be increasing their criminal activity.

By: Associated Press | United Nations | Published: February 10, 2015 8:37 am
"The scale and depth of this cooperation is new, and builds on decades of interaction between the Taliban and others involved in criminal behavior," the panel said in a report to the UN Security Council. “The scale and depth of this cooperation is new, and builds on decades of interaction between the Taliban and others involved in criminal behavior,” the panel said in a report to the UN Security Council.

The Taliban are increasingly acting more like gangsters than a “government in waiting,” UN experts monitoring sanctions against the Islamic fundamentalist insurgents said in a report circulated Monday.

The panel of experts said the Taliban, who ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, appear to be increasing their criminal activity including narcotics trafficking, illicit mining, extortion for using roads and kidnapping for ransom.

“The scale and depth of this cooperation is new, and builds on decades of interaction between the Taliban and others involved in criminal behavior,” the panel said in a report to the UN Security Council.

The experts said this new trend “has real consequences for peace and security in Afghanistan” because it encourages Taliban members reaping the greatest financial benefits “to oppose any meaningful process of reconciliation with the new government.”

President Ashraf Ghani has said he said he wants to bring peace to Afghanistan after more than 30 years of continuous war and is trying to isolate the Taliban and bring them to the negotiating table.

The panel urged the Security Council to intensify its use of sanctions “to expose and disrupt Taliban involvement in, and links to, criminal activity.”

While donations from outside benefactors play a role in the Taliban’s finances, the experts said it generates more assets from cultivating opium poppies and producing and transporting narcotics, investing in Afghan companies, money-laundering operations, kidnapping for ransom, extorting Afghan businesses and illegally exploiting natural resources.

The report identified a number of alleged Taliban traffickers who tap into the supply chain at every stage of the narcotics trade.

It said the Taliban continues to mine onyx in marble-rich southern Helmand province, extorts around $1 million annually from individuals that want to exploit lapis lazuli mines in Badakhshan province, and demands about 15 percent of total proceeds- which could be as high as $16 million annually- for providing “security” and facilitating illegal ruby mining in Jagdalak in Kabul province.

Since 2005, ransom paid to the Taliban for international hostages is estimated to amount to at least $16 million, the panel said, although the Taliban has claimed to have received more than $20 million.

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    Andrew Roberts
    Feb 10, 2015 at 4:33 pm
    2 comments so far, speak out, for democracy (imperfect as it is) against greed... that pays, and relies on that you do not speak out.
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      Andrew Roberts
      Feb 10, 2015 at 2:37 pm
      This is why everyone, who is, or supports, or just leaves open the possibility of the Taliban's continued existance, must be killed. They have no personal sense of what is moral, they have become the tools of extremists (on both sides of conflict). They have given up their humanity so it is left to Allah to judge them (unfortunately for the worse). There will be no clean YouTube clip of my beheading as I will be biting off the of my executioner (blindfolded, it will take some time for me to find such a small thing).
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        ah
        Feb 10, 2015 at 10:16 am
        The most honest GOVT. was of Karzai, right? and Ashraf Ghani was talking about billions that Karzai LOST he would FIND ........... BTW NATO involvement in ME is solely for freedom and DEMOCRACY and not at all for OIL, right? like a gangster
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