U.K. Urges G-8 Leaders to Stop Paying Terrorist Ransom Demands

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron will urge his G-8 counterparts to end the payment of terrorists’ ransom demands to stem funding to al-Qaeda in north Africa.

At a meeting of Group of Eight leaders in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland tomorrow, Cameron will lead a discussion on how to tackle the threat of terrorism in the Maghreb region, where al-Qaeda has collected 33 million euros ($44 million) in ransom payments in the last three years, according to a British official who asked not to be identified citing government rules.

Paying ransom is illegal under British law and the U.S and Canada also don’t give in to terrorist demands, unlike the other five nations in the group -- France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia. The average ransom paid is $2.5 million per hostage, according to the U.K. official.

“On some of the issues on the G8 agenda -- for instance, trying to make sure that we stop countries paying ransoms to terrorist kidnappers -- I want a declaration,” Cameron told the Foreign Press Association in London on June 13. “I want countries to sign up to a tangible agreement.”

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