FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The United States commends the United Nations Security Council for today's passage of Resolution 2133 which identifies kidnapping for ransom as a source of terrorist financing, expresses the Council's determination to secure the safe release of hostages without ransom payments or political concessions, and calls upon all Member States to prevent terrorists from benefiting directly or indirectly from such concessions.
Over the last 10 years, terrorist organizations have collected well over $120 million in ransom payments, money they use to help fund the salaries, recruitment and training of new terrorists; to acquire weapons and communications gear; and to stage deadly attacks. By identifying and working to counter a key source of funding for terrorist groups, we are taking an important step to undermine the terrorists' business model by removing the financial incentive for them to conduct future kidnappings. We know that hostage takers looking for ransoms distinguish between those governments that pay ransoms and those that do not - and that they make a point of not taking hostages from those countries that refuse to make concessions.
Extracting ransom through kidnapping is today's most significant terrorist financing threat because it has proven itself a frighteningly successful tactic. Every ransom paid to a terrorist organization encourages future kidnapping operations. Today's landmark resolution is a clear signal of our shared commitment to end kidnapping for ransom and to break a vicious cycle that finances further acts of terrorism.
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