By MONICA MEDINAPublished: September 30, 2013
How is the carnage at an upscale shopping mall in Nairobi linked to a surge in the poaching of wild elephants in Africa? The connection goes back to the old Watergate adage that is critical to all anti-terrorism efforts: Follow the money.
The Price of Ivory 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.
Prominent global figures — former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her daughter Chelsea, Prince William and Kate Middleton, and many others — have all spoken out about elephant conservation. Just this week, Mrs. Clinton announced a new $80 million, three-year effort by the Clinton Global Initiative aimed at ending ivory trafficking.
But, as she pointed out, saving elephants is more than just a cause célèbre: it is critical in the fight against terrorism. 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.” FULL STORY IN NY TIMES