Almost half a million pounds of British taxpayer-funded aid and equipment has fallen into the hands of al-Qaeda, the Department for International Development has admitted.
The terror group’s Somali franchise, al-Shabaab, “confiscated” the equipment from DfID contractors in multiple incidents over at least three months before any action was taken.
The admission is contained in the small print of the department’s latest accounts, which say that £480,000 worth of “humanitarian materials and supplies” was written off following repeated “confiscations” by al-Shabaab.
The confiscations are one of a series of developments disclosed by the department, which will increase controversy over the British aid budget, the only item of government expenditure that is rising sharply in an era of cuts.
British aid is due to reach about £11billion by 2015, to meet the Government’s promise that aid spending should be 0.7 per cent of gross national income. Critics say the 0.7 per cent figure encourages wasteful spending to meet the target.
Investigations by The Telegraph show a number of areas of questionable spending and results that are open to question, including how: