According to a retired US colonel, Swedish telecom giant Ericsson provided high-tech equipment to the al-Qaeda terrorist group in exchange for protection in the region.
According to the Swedish newspaper Dagens Industri, the exchange between Ericsson and the terrorist organization took place between 2008 and 2017. Ericsson allegedly preferred to give al-Qaeda the technology equipment rather than cash in order to continue its operations in Iraq and Afghanistan undisturbed.
The former colonel is one of several insider witnesses involved in a lawsuit against Ericsson filed by lawyers representing relatives of the terror group’s victims.
These include trucks, signal communication equipment, telephones, computers and satellite nodes placed in special “stashes” where al-Qaeda members then retrieved them. Ericsson would not comment on the information, but told Dagens Industri that it “will continue to defend itself against this action”.
This is not the first time Ericsson has been in the spotlight for financing terrorism. It has already been established that Ericsson was involved in corruption in Iraq. In February 2022, the Swedish television program Uppdrag Granskning showed that the company may have used bribes to finance the Islamic State – another violent terrorist group. The purpose of the bribes was allegedly to obtain permission to continue building mobile phone masts in the region.
In a settlement with the US Department of Justice, Ericsson paid $206 million for its involvement in the bribery scandal by failing to disclose the events and its own internal investigation.