Help National Security: Curb Animal Poaching

Funds go to terrorist groups, say op-ed writers
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 10, 2013 2:15 PM CDT
Help National Security: Curb Animal Poaching
Kenyan Wildlife wardens keep a watch on confiscated elephant tusks at the Kenyan wildlife offices in Nairobi in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Khalil Senosi)

The US needs to get way more aggressive in stopping animal poachers worldwide—not just for moral reasons but for its own national security, write three advocates in the New York Times. Poaching is a major source of revenue for terror organizations, and poachers' links to groups such as al-Qeada, al-Shabab, and the Lord's Resistance Army are well established. The US, thanks to a push from Hillary Clinton in her final year as secretary as state, has freed up $10 million to help African nations fight poachers, which is commendable but not nearly enough.

Not that the US should go it alone. "The best shot at combating poaching must include nontraditional partners working together," write the essayists. "This means that governments, multilateral organizations and technology innovators—from the Pentagon and United Nations counterterrorism units to the World Bank and conservation groups—must play a part in addressing the problem." How about surveillance drones to bust up poaching networks? If the world thinks big on this, it will not only help endangered animals but put a wrench in the terrorist money pipeline. Click for the full column. (More poaching stories.)

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