In the past ten years, the GSPC/Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has made an estimated $116 million in ransom money. They now get more money from Europe than from the traditional source of Persian Gulf terror financiers.
I’m not a hardliner who says “we should never negotiate with terrorists” — never say never — but we’ve got to stop buying back prisoners for huge amounts of money. I can’t imagine how terrible it must be for them and their families, but that is an awful lot of money going to terrorists for financing and arming insurgencies all over Africa. A lot more innocent people will die because of all these ransom payments — and probably more people will be kidnapped.