Kidnap and Terrorism Financing
Concerns about the increased role ransoms play in funding terrorism have led to calls by the G8 and the United Nations Security Council for a universal policy banning ransom payments to terrorists. This chapter examines the efforts towards a universal ransom ban, with the ultimate aim of reaching some conclusions about whether banning will stem the flow of ransoms to terrorist organizations. Drawing on the literature about norm influence, the chapter concludes that the efforts thus far have the potential to impact behaviour in a meaningful way in the future. In fact, this chapter suggests that the only realistic avenue to change the behaviour of states and individuals inclined to pay for the release of innocent hostages is through persuasion, as opposed to force.
KeywordsTerrorism financing Ransom
The author thanks the IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law for providing a summer faculty research grant to support this project. The author also thanks the University of San Diego Law Review for permission to use in this chapter some material that was adapted from her article, ‘Funding Terrorism: The Problem of Ransom Payments’, San Diego Law Review, 53 San Diego L. Rev. 163 (2016).