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Senior UN Official Says ‘Very Worried’ by AQMI Involvement in Drug Trafficking to Europe June 24, 2010

Posted by saharanews in Uncategorized.
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well, they're out there somewhere

Washington – Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), voiced on Wednesday his concern over the involvement of Al Qaeda branch in the Islamic Maghreb (AQMI) in drug trafficking to Europe.

“I am very worried by the fact that once again in the world we see evidence that drug trafficking is used to fund insurgency and terrorism,” the UN official told MAP on the sidelines of the presentation of the UNODC World Drug Report 2010.

Antonio Maria Costa added that the “trafficking routes of the Latin-American cocaine cross territories which are, to some extent, under the control or characterized by the presence of insurgents of AQMI,” calling the situation “very serious”.

In the same vein, Michael Braun, a former operations officer at the US anti-drug agency, has recently said that the AQMI is not only a terrorist organization but also a powerful criminal organization.

He said the group is motivated by lust for lucre, whether in dollar or in euro.

For him, there is no doubt about convergence of interests between the AQMI and Colombian revolutionary armed forces, as well as with powerful Mexican and Colombian cartels.

A recent article by Los Angeles Times had also indicated that Al Qaeda branch in the Islamic Maghreb has expanded its control over cocaine crossing the Sahel region to fund its operations against western targets.

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