Heroin Trafficking Finances Taliban and Terrorism

Production of heroin in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan provides the Taliban with its main source of revenue that is then diverted to terrorist networks inside of the country, including Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda network. Experts estimate that drug trafficking provides the Taliban with several billion dollars worth of income per year. Since September 11, the export of heroin out of Afghanistan has increased by 400 percent, with revenue used to purchase weapons and support terrorist operations. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration official Asa Hustchinson declared that “Terrorism and drug trafficking are entwined. One generates money, the other needs money, and both involve the extraordinary use of violence. They feed on each other.”

Poppy fields that produce the opium necessary for heroin production, compete in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan with wheat fields. With limited arable land, and enormous profits to be made through poppy production, food is often sacrificed to drugs. Coupled with drought, the hijacked people of Afghanistan face starvation and famine while the Taliban collects billions to finance its terror campaigns. Currently, the Taliban produces 70 percent of the world’s supply of heroin, and the majority of heroin in the United States and in Europe originates in Afghanistan.

To learn more about the Taliban, visit FMF’s Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan.


Washington Times, 10/3/01; John Cooley, Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America, and International Terrorism, 1999

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