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The Taliban Stones Commission and the Insurgent Windfall from Illegal Mining | Combating Terrorism Center at West Point

The Taliban Stones Commission and the Insurgent Windfall from Illegal Mining | Combating Terrorism Center at West Point

Afghanistan’s vast mineral deposits, a complex assortment of metals, industrial minerals, mineral fuels, precious and semi-precious gems, and hydrocarbons—including world-class deposits of iron and copper—is under threat from a horde of illegal mining syndicates, including the Afghan Taliban. The U.S. Department of Defense’s Task Force for Business and Stability Operations (TFBSO) previously estimated that Afghanistan’s known mineral deposits tops $1 trillion—$908 billion in mineral resources and more than $200 billion in hydrocarbon deposits.1While illegal mining activities in Afghanistan have long plagued efforts to create a functioning, licit mining sector, the Taliban have now succeeded in penetrating nearly every aspect of the mining sector.

Source: The Taliban Stones Commission and the Insurgent Windfall from Illegal Mining | Combating Terrorism Center at West Point