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Germany

BND: Islamic Terrorism Joining Organized Crime

President of Germany's foreign intelligence agency, BND, August Hanning said Wednesday that organized crime was increasingly joining forces with Islamic terrorists. "We see that in kidnappings, passport forgeries, smuggling and in Afghanistan in the drug trade," Hanning told German public broadcaster ARD. He added that the new development was making investigations more difficult "because we now have to deal with well-oiled structures that often have vast experience and substantial money." Hanning said that the BND had observed that of the 240 foreigners from 33 nations kidnapped in Iraq since April this year, 65 percent of the cases were criminally motivated. In the long-term, hostage-taking would be even more dangerous than car bombs because it would undermine state authority and systematically damage economic development, the BND chief added.