RealNews

U.N.: Taliban, Al Qaeda Cash in on Afghan Opium

Hundreds of millions of dollars a year from Afghanistan’s illicit drug trade end up in the pockets of Islamic militant groups like the Taliban and al Qaeda, the head of the U.N. drug-fighting body said Tuesday. U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa also said there were no signs of the country’s rampant opium output abating this year, meaning Afghanistan was in grave danger of becoming a narco-state. Although the Taliban was ousted from power in late 2001, a lack of infrastructure after two decades of war has left the new government of President Hamid Karzai struggling to contain expanding opium production. “We cannot call it a narco-state now, but Afghanistan is obviously at a critical juncture. It could go either way,” he said. Full Story

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