Anger grows among Afghans as al-Qaeda exploits nation's mines

By Emran

In a photo taken February 24, an Afghan miner digs for gold in Yaftal Sufla district, Badakhshan province. [Wakil Kohsar/AFP]

In a photo taken February 24, an Afghan miner digs for gold in Yaftal Sufla district, Badakhshan province. [Wakil Kohsar/AFP]

KABUL –- While poverty, unemployment and hunger haunt the majority of Afghans, the plundering of Afghanistan's mines by al-Qaeda is infuriating civilians.

Al-Qaeda has earned approximately $195 million from Badakhshan and Takhar gold mines over the past two years, Foreign Policy reported in March.

Fourteen groups affiliated with al-Qaeda are involved in and profit from these mines, it said.

Afghans are angry

Mohammad Ali, 42, a laborer in Herat city, supports his family of eight. He spends all day on the roadside waiting for work.

Ali expressed anger over al-Qaeda's exploitation of the mines.

"While my family and millions of other Afghans don't have food for the next day, the theft of Afghanistan's mines by al-Qaeda ... is a crime," he told Salaam Times.

"My children sometimes go to bed hungry. But when I hear that al-Qaeda is stealing our mines, I become very angry," he added

"The mines belong to the people of Afghanistan ... It's clear that al-Qaeda uses the money ... for terrorist attacks and killing," he continued.

Safiullah, a 35-year-old resident of Badghis province who relies on monthly assistance from international organizations, including the World Food Program, is also distraught.

"Any use of the mines by al-Qaeda or other terrorist groups is an injustice to the poor people of Afghanistan," said Safiullah, who provided only his first name.

Mining revenue could eliminate hunger and poverty in Afghanistan, he said.

Al-Qaeda's financial resources

Afghan mining revenue, especially from gold, has revived al-Qaeda, said some analysts.

The terrorist group needs money to support affiliates in many countries, and Afghan mines provide some, said Javid Akrami, a political analyst based in Kabul.

Mines generate "long-term and stable income," he said. Meanwhile, al-Qaeda "is striving to access more mines, which will multiply its revenue."

"It is essential to cut off its access to Afghanistan's mines," he added.

The greater al-Qaeda's financial resources, the more it can recruit members and conduct violent attacks globally, Akrami warned.

Al-Qaeda's plundering of natural resources impoverishes and destabilizes Afghanistan, said Herat province economist Javid Atif.

"Afghanistan, being a poor country heavily reliant on international aid, has a critical need for mining revenues," he said. "But when those are stolen by terrorist networks like al-Qaeda, Afghanistan loses opportunities for economic growth."

With the strengthening of al-Qaeda, Afghanistan once again could become a global terrorism hub, predicted Mohammad Naim Ghayur, an Afghan military analyst in Italy.

"Al-Qaeda serves as the mother organization for other terrorist groups," he said.

It channels mining revenues "to terrorist groups worldwide," added Ghayur, citing Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Middle East and Africa as their locations. "This situation jeopardizes the security of Afghanistan and the world."

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Al-Qaida does not need Afghanistan's mines. They have their resources. May Allah make them victorious in their affairs.


Where is Al-Qaida, and where are mines? Lies have a limit and mercinarship as well. If you are genuinely Afghan, don't be that much of a puppet to work based on the agenda of aliens for destroying the motherland.