Saturday Headlines

Human Trafficking And Terrorism Intersect
While many are aware of the growing threat of terrorism, particularly acts of terror committed by non-state actors, they tend to view it through a narrow lens. Likewise, the scourge of human trafficking is not hidden from the public view, but few see where the two intersect.

Louise Shelley looks at how the twin threats – human trafficking and terrorism – intermingle, specifically how groups such as Boko Haram and ISIS use them.

“Today they are more direct, especially in many conflict regions of the world. Yet policymakers focus nearly all their attention on more visible crime-terrorism links—primarily drug trafficking—and miss the important links between human trafficking and terrorist organizations.

“Human trafficking now serves three main purposes for terrorist groups: generating revenue, providing fighting power, and vanquishing the enemy,” Shelley contends in an article in The Daily Beast.

Human trafficking is just one of the ways ISIS employs to fund its activities, as The Daily Mail reports.

“But it was revealed today that it has been recruiting foreign doctors for months to harvest the internal organs not only from the bodies of their own dead fighters but also from living hostages – including children – snatched from minority communities in Iraq and Syria,” the British newspaper noted.

Final Days Of An ISIS Hostage
The New York Times had one of the better stories in 2014 detailing the final days of ISIS hostages.

“Inside their concrete box, the hostages did not know what their families or governments were doing on their behalf. They slowly pieced it together using the only information they had: their interactions with their guards and with one another. Mostly they suffered, waiting for any sign that they might escape with their lives,” Rukmini Callimachi writes.

Inside The Brutality Of The Central African Republic
Graeme Wood of the New Republic also offers an excellent piece of journalism documenting the horrors in the Central African Republic as it moves toward the edge of genocide.

For years the Muslims, who comprise approximately 15 percent of the population, and Christians managed to coexist, but that is no longer the case.

“But in the last year, CAR has collapsedfirst in a spasm of political violence and now in a grisly carnival of factional and religious slaughter that has left it one of the very worst places on Earth. It is a country the size of Texas, with as many people as Boston, and an economy less than a tenth the size of Chattanooga’s. Reliable data doesn’t exist for the number dead, but from December until March, street lynchings became so common that they ceased to be news. The danger is unequaled anywhere in present-day Africa except, perhaps, Nigeria on a bad day. Bangui competes with Damascus for the title of world’s grimmest capital city,” Wood documents.

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