The illicit wildlife trade is now worth up to 20 billion dollars a year. That’s double what it was just a few years ago – worth far more than the weapons trade and approaching the rate of human smuggling. This has attracted the attention of Al Shabaab, Boko Haram, the Lord’s Resistance Army, and other terrorist groups, African militias, and Asian criminal syndicates – all looking to capitalize on this high-value, low-risk venture. And it flies in the face of US officials and law enforcement who, since 9/11, have been doing everything in their power to cut off revenue to the world’s terrorists. In this hour-long program, we look at poaching – once a conservation issue, but now a full-blown threat to national security.
Listen to the full commentary here.