Cover image for Modern jihad : tracing the dollars behind the terror networks
Modern jihad : tracing the dollars behind the terror networks
Napoleoni, Loretta.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
London ; Sterling, Va. : Pluto Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
xxiii, 295 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


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Material Type
Home Location
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HV6431 .N3654 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
HV6431 .N3654 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Loretta Napoleoni is the first author to tackle the issues raised by 11 September 2001 from a specifically economic perspective. From the Contras to Al-Qaeda, Modern Jihad maps out the arteries of an international economic system that feeds armed groups the world over with an endless supply of cash.

Author Notes

Loretta Napoleoni is an economist who has worked for banks and international organizations in Europe and the US. She is also a journalist and has worked as a foreign correspondent for several Italian financial papers

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

No punches are pulled in this alarming study of a $1.5-trillion terrorist economy that is as integral a part of the Western economy as banking or big oil. So compelling is Italian economist and journalist Napoleoni's indictment of the West for the creation and sustenance of international terrorism that she believes this is the reason publication was nixed by her commissioning publisher's board of directors. Napoleoni traces 50 years of Western economic and political dominance in developing Muslim countriesbacking repressive, corrupt regimes, fighting the Cold War by proxy and blocking the legitimate economic ascendancy of millions. "As in the Crusades," in which Napoleoni finds many modern parallels, "religion is simply a recruitment tool; the real driving force is economics." The only way those left behind by globalization can afford to fight back, the author says, is with the proceeds of crimedrugs, arms, prostitution, gems, smuggling, even slaveryall fueled by the West's addictions and other "poisonous dependencies" and laundered and reinvested by the West's own financial industry. Interviews with former terrorists, intelligence officials and world-class economists enliven this thoughtful and informed analysis, but evidence of the FBI and CIA being prevented by the Clinton and Bush administrations from fully investigating the real (Saudi) sources of Islamist terrorism and of the real motives for the campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq could create a political firestorm here and abroad. (For another take on this subject, see Rachel Enrenfeld's Funding Evil, reviewed on p. 56.) Agents, Roberta Oliva and Daniela Ogliari. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Choice Review

Most recent books on terrorism attempt to locate its motivation in history, culture, or religion. Napoleoni focuses on economics and therefore adds a useful new layer to the study of terrorism. She argues that terrorism can be understood as an economic system that is highly integrated with but has interests fundamentally opposed to global capitalism, thus the difficulty Western countries have understanding, opposing, or destroying it. Many readers will disagree with the author's assertion that today's terrorism has its roots in Cold War policies, or that there are strong parallels between the motivation of Christian Crusaders a thousand years ago and Muslim terrorists today. Attempts to estimate the size of "The New Economy of Terror" (perhaps $1.5 trillion?) are necessarily problematic. And, like many books by economic journalists, this volume sacrifices scholarly standards of argument and evidence in an attempt to reach a wider audience. The book's strength is its determination to "follow the money," highlighting the consequences of economic dependency and providing detailed accounts of how terrorist organizations are funded. The glossary is very useful in revealing the meanings of economic, Islamic, and terrorist terminology. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Public and undergraduate academic collections. M. Veseth University of Puget Sound

Table of Contents

John K. CooleyGeorge Magnus
Forewordp. ix
Introductionp. xi
Prefacep. xiv
Acknowledgementsp. xvii
Prologue--11 September: a former member of an Italian armed group reflects on old and new terrorp. xix
Part I The Cold War Years: The Economic Dependency of Terror
1. The Dilemma of Terrorism: War or Crime? How 11 September could have been avoided had the US regarded the first bombing of the World Trade Center as an act of war instead of a domestic crimep. 3
2. The Macroeconomics of Terror: The birth of modern armed groups: from the ashes of the colonial war to the war by proxy of the Cold War. Terror becomes a political realityp. 11
3. The Privatisation of Terror: Armed groups search for financial independence. How Arafat transformed the PLO into the independent economic engine of the Palestinians' struggle for self-determinationp. 29
4. Terror Reaganomics: Terror mavericks and guns for hire; Arab countries get involved in sponsoring armed groups. Terror becomes businessp. 47
Part II The New Economic Disorder
5. The Birth of the Terror State-Shell: How armed groups shaped their own state using war economics instead of nationalism and political consensusp. 63
6. Towards a New World Disorder: The anti-Soviet Jihad, a pyrrhic victory for the US and its Muslim allies. From the ashes of the Soviet bloc a new enemy rises: Islamist terrorp. 79
7. Islamist Economics: The legacy of the anti-Soviet Jihad: the spread of Islamist armed groups in Central Asia and in the Caucasusp. 87
8. Terror Jihad: The Islamist Crusades: Modern Jihad: Osama bin Laden and his Islamist followers wage a crusade against the economic hegemony of the West and its Muslim alliesp. 96
9. Islamist Financial Colonisation: Islamic banking and finance penetrate Muslim countries in the Balkans, Caucasus and Central Asia, paving the way for Islamist armed insurgencyp. 105
10. The Economic Forces of Islamist Colonisation: Emerging new social classes in Arab countries back financially the spreading of Islamist insurgency to end the economic hegemony of the West: bankers, traders and businessmenp. 117
11. The Mosque Network: Mosques as a powerful international recruiting ground of the Modern Jihadp. 128
Part III The New Economy of Terror
12. Weak States: Breeding Ground for Terror: Armed groups' strongholds across the world: Sudan, Afghanistan, Sierra Leonep. 139
13. From Modern Jihad to the New Economy of Terror: Under the umbrella of the Modern Jihad, Islamist and non-Islamist armed groups become business partners creating the New Economy of Terror. Terror becomes an international economic systemp. 147
14. Terror's Legitimate Business: The many legitimate businesses run by armed organisations from the IRA to al-Qaedap. 158
15. Terror's Balance of Payments: From charities to crime; how terror economies generate and redistribute wealthp. 166
16. State-Shell Economics: Armed groups' expenditure; a cost-benefit analysis of suicide bombersp. 177
17. The Globalisation of the New Economy of Terror: How big is the New Economy of Terror? A fast-growing illegal economy twice the size of the United Kingdom's GDPp. 188
Conclusionsp. 203
Groupsp. 207
Glossaryp. 223
Notesp. 235
Bibliographyp. 262
Indexp. 274