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CAMERON URGED TO CONFRONT FRANCE OVER CLAIMS IT IS FUNDING ISIS TERROR WITH UNDERHAND RANSOM PAYMENTS

CAMERON URGED TO CONFRONT FRANCE OVER CLAIMS IT IS FUNDING ISIS TERROR WITH UNDERHAND RANSOM PAYMENTS

David Cameron has been urged to confront French President Francois Hollande over claims the country is funding ISIS terrorists by paying ransoms to free hostages

By Tom McTague, for MailOnline

David Cameron has been urged to confront French President Francois Hollande over claims the country is funding ISIS terrorists by paying ransoms to free hostages.

David Cameron has been urged to confront French President Francois Hollande over claims the country is funding ISIS terrorists by paying ransoms to free hostages

Britain and the United States refuse to negotiate with terrorists in an effort not to encourage further hostage taking. But this policy is being undermined by European countries negotiating secret deals to free their citizens.

Four French and three Spanish hostages were released this year after money was delivered through an intermediary, the New York Times reported today.

Kidnapping Europeans has become the main source of revenue for Al Qaeda and its spin off – the Islamic State, an investigation by the newspaper has found.

Together they have allegedly earned at least $125 million – or £75 million – in ransom payments in the past five years alone. 

Fears have been raised that European countries’ policy of secretly negotiating with terrorists is undermining the West’s response to the growing threat from ISIS.

Tory MP Andrew Rosindall, who sits on the respected Foreign Affairs Select Committee, said: ‘If they are paying ransoms hey are harming the interests of the free world and by playing the game of terrorism by paying ransom money they are funding and furthering the cause of ISIS and Al Qaeda. 

‘The French and the Spanish should really look at themselves in the mirror and ask whether this is the right thing to do.’

‘I think Parliament will be angry – and the British people will be angry. Once again it’s left to Britain and America to stand firm while other countries wobble.

 

‘The Prime Minister should be raising this with President Hollande. The French are undermining all of us by doing this.’

A Foreign Office source admitted it was a concern for the Government. ‘It is definitely an issue,’ the source said.

‘All you can do is emphasise what we do and why we think it is right. A lot of countries won’t talk about it. Some countries will say one thing and another thing happens.’

But a former senior Cabinet minister told MailOnline that there was no point ‘tweaking the French tail’ because the UK would not get anywhere.

He added: ‘They don’t admit it. It comes out through what other people say. When you see a French President on the tarmac greeting a freed hostage you can be fairly sure they paid.’

His father, retired electrical engineer Ahmed Muthana, 57, of Cardiff, spoke of his disgust at the killing, saying: ‘Any right-thinking human being would condemn this. It is brutal and like something from the Dark Ages.

‘The video should be taken down from the internet where it will drive other Muslims to think of this like some sort of game.’

Academics yesterday voiced major concerns over the continuing circulation of the slickly edited video.

They said the footage could help radicalise British Muslims and ‘motivate’ them to support the terrorists’ cause.

And they warned the video and the use of social media to spread news of the beheading had succeeded in promoting IS’s cause to a global audience.

Rafaello Pantucci, director of international security studies at defence think-tank RUSI, said: ‘When we watch these videos, we are horrified by these sorts of acts and wonder how anyone can look at this with anything other than sheer disgust. But actually it has a motivating effect for others.

‘Some will look at this video and see the heinous act and see that they are a really serious group carrying out acts which are having a huge impact and causing world superpowers to look at them and their cause.

‘It could motivate people because they see they are a strong group making a powerful statement.’ 

@edosnews.com

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CAMERON FRANCE OVER CLAIMS ISIS TERROR IT IS FUNDING RANSOM PAYMENTS TO CONFRONT URGED WITH UNDERHAND

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