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Terrorists Switch to Illicit Gold Trade From Drugs to Finance Activities

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Terrorist organizations, particularly in Columbia, have been switching to illicit gold trade from narcotics to fund their activities, George Mason University Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center Director Louise Shelley said on Thursday.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Shelley explained that terrorist organization have enormous flexibility and ability to switch between sources of revenue.

"There is now a large illicit trade in gold," Shelley stated at a US House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee hearing. "Some of this is coming out of Columbia."

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"The revenues for the FARC [Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia] in Columbia are now estimated to be grater from the illicit gold trade than from the narcotics trade," Shelley added.

She also noted that illicit gold trade is among sources of revenue that is not being payed enough attention to.

The FARC rebel group was established in 1964 as the military wing of Colombia's Communist Party. More than 200,000 people have been killed in the ongoing conflict between the FARC and the Colombian government.

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