I just saw this post by Alex Thurston at Sahel Blog and I’m looking forward to reading more on AQIM’s kidnappings. He’s started recording kidnappings and has some good charts. I’ll follow up more later but wanted to get this out so others can take a look. I had addressed this topic quickly in a previous post, but Alex is applying much needed rigor and expertise to the topic.
Overall, I’m against ransoms entirely and almost always against rescues. My BLUF is: if you want to travel to Timbuktu and study ancient texts, you’re on your own! Good luck and don’t lose your head out there! (I’ll expand more on this later.)