MODERN JIHAD: Tracing the Dollars Behind the Terror Networks

Loretta Napoleoni, Author, John Cooley, Foreword by, George Magnus, Introduction by , foreword by John Cooley, intro. by George Magnus. Pluto $24.95 (295p) ISBN 978-0-7453-2117-2

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 countries—backing 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 crime—drugs, arms, prostitution, gems, smuggling, even slavery—all 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.)

Reviewed on: 09/15/2003
Release date: 09/01/2003
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