Shipments of African contraband such as ivory, tiger parts, and rhino horn are funding militant groups and perhaps terrorists, Newsweek reports. After the theft of $1.3 million in ivory in Chad last year and a reported rise in contraband smuggling, US lawmakers have become interested: A House hearing on the wildlife trade is scheduled to start next week.
Poaching is now a $10 billion market, with large-scale animal killings that fund militias such as Janjaweed, which carries out strikes in Darfur. For them, “it’s untraceable money,” said an animal welfare expert. Evidence of a terror link is anecdotal, “but with the amount of money it would provide, even anecdotes are a huge cause for concern," a US official said.