Tusks for terrorists: ivory, elephant poaching and the war on terror

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Sat, 2014-07-26 09:11 by Hans

By Michele C. Hollow and Bryson Hull on Jul 8, 2014

Elephant poaching in Africa is now on the radar of the American security apparatus.

The kind of people you’d expect to be talking about terrorists—instead of animals—are urging more military, law enforcement and intelligence efforts to stop the poaching of elephants for ivory.

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And for good reason. Evidence that at least two groups the U.S. designates as terrorists are benefiting from ivory poaching has stirred the U.S. government’s security machinery into action and put its goals in line with those of conservation groups, which normally exist on different ends of the political spectrum.

Somalia’s al-Shabaab and Uganda’s Lord’s Resistance Army, led by Joseph Kony, are taking part in poaching or benefiting from its proceeds, according to a study by conservation group Born Free USA and conflict data analysis group C4ADS. That linkage has brought greater attention to other armed groups in Africa that kill elephants for their ivory, a business that generates as much as $1 billion a year, according to the study.

Read the complete article in WhoWhatWhy