The Washington Post reports the group is funded by a network of black market dealings, local and international donations, and links to al-Qaeda and other Middle Eastern groups. They say the group received much of the $3 million that Osama bin-Laden sent to Nigeria around 2002. After founder Mohammed Yusuf fled to Saudi Arabia, the group’s leaders said much of their money came from al-Qaeda. The group gets additional money from al-Shabaab in Somalia and local al-Qaeda affiliates, as well as from ransoms and the black market. Bank robberies have brought it $6 million.
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