Religion of death. From beginning to end. “You love life, we love death,” is the Islamist battle cry. And it doesn’t just involve exterminating and enslaving non-Muslims.
How is the carnage at an upscale shopping mall in Nairobi linked to a surge in the poaching of wild elephants in Africa?
Elephants are being slaughtered in record numbers in Africa. As reported in The Washington Post last summer, more than 30,000 elephants were killed by poachers last year, the largest number in decades. Over the last five years there has been a huge spike in poaching that threatens the extinction of one of the planet’s most intelligent and iconic species.
Al-Shabaab finances as much as 40% of its operations this way. The supply of ivory for al-Shabaab and other militant groups is, obviously, dead elephants. As demand for ivory continues to surge in China and other Asian countries, the slaughter is growing industrial in scale and efficiency, fueling a trade worth $7 billion to $10 billion a year.
Al Shabab is financing a significant portion of its military operations by poaching elephants. A 2011 report by the Elephant Action League, whose mission is to fight elephant exploitation and wildlife crime, dubs elephant ivory “the white gold of jihad.”
Last year, we discussed how that firepower gives Jihadists superiority over park rangers.
The heavily armed and well coordinated poachers, who had told local villagers of their plans to kill as many elephants as possible, claimed they had killed as much as 650 out of some 1,000 that roamed the park.
In 2010, Ugandan soldiers, searching for Mr. Kony in the forests of the Central African Republic, ran into a janjaweed ivory caravan. “These guys had 400 men, pack mules, a major camp, lots of weapons,” a Western official said. A battle erupted and more than 10 Ugandans were killed.
Islam. Always making the world a worse place.