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Terrorists are turning to human trafficking, including trading in modern slavery, for their revenue streams, a new report reveals.
The so-called Islamic State (Daesh) and Boko Haram are among groups resorting to hostage-taking and ransom efforts as historical revenue streams such as taxation and oil sales, dry up, the research found.
Trafficking Terror, a study by UK security think tank the Henry Jackson Society, suggests Daesh made up to £23million last year from kidnappings.
It also details how extremists are using sexual violence, including rape, sexual slavery, and forced marriage, to boost recruitment, galvanise fighters and punish disbelievers.
Victims cited in the study include a ten-year-old Libyan girl who was repeatedly raped by traffickers while she was being held in a camp.
Yvette Cooper, chair of the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, said: “Daesh, Boko Haram and other evil groups are increasingly seeing human trafficking as a possible revenue stream – and we know that terrorists use sexual violence as one of the weapons to divide and create fear within communities.
“It is important this is recognised in the interpretation of terror in our current laws.”
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