French national Serge Lazarevic being held by AQMI at an undisclosed location. AFP PHOTO / File
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Al-Qaeda is increasingly funding terror operations thanks to at least $125 million in ransom paid since 2008, largely by European governments to free western hostages, the New York Times reported. The payments totaled $66 million in 2013 alone, according to an investigation by the newspaper published Tuesday.The paper listed more than $90 million paid to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb since 2008 – by a Switzerland, Spain, Austria, and state-controlled French company and two payments from undetermined sources.French nuclear company Areva also denied paying ransom.However, the United States has been willing to negotiate in some cases, including the recent trade of five senior Taliban prisoners held at Guantanamo in exchange for captured U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl.
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