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Funding Evil Hardcover – October 31, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Conservative analyst and pundit Ehrenfeld contends that our image of terrorism is all wrong. Rather than shadowy cells of young, religious martyrs, the true face of terror, she says, is an international network of corrupt state leaders, superwealthy contributors, and drug and crime kingpins. Without money, especially laundered U.S. dollars, there would be no terror, and this lively, well-documented primer reveals the sources, the amounts and the armed terror organizations they support. Not surprisingly, the author of Narco-Terrorism is at her best on the ironies of the West's appetite for drugs, which terror groups exploit for funding, arms and recruiting those who would undermine a degenerate Western society. Some readers might be alienated or distracted by the author's exhaustive yet fascinating description of the activities and funding of the PLO, Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which takes up nearly half the book. Reigniting the drug war and supporting Israel are Ehrenfeld's clear national security priorities, as are other policy initiatives like regime removal and economic sanctions for states sponsoring terrorism. But the Bush administration and a succession of U.S. and Western leaders are taken to task for "a willful blindness" to the role of the international oil and drug trades in funding terror and for "lacking the political will" to confront Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan and other states for their "anti-Western agenda." Ehrenfeld's prescription for ending terrorism might depend on an unrealistic hope for immediate international cooperation, but this timely expos‚ should heat up public demand for real progress in the war on terrorism.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"...Ehrenfeld covers wide ground.... [and] exposes the mechanisms of how terrorism works..." -- Middle East Journal

"Funding Evil" is a wake-up call to all involved in the war on drugs and the war on terror. -- —Ambassador Rosso Jose Serrano, Colombian Ambassador to Austria, Former Chief of Colombian Police

"Funding Evil" not only exposes the intricacies of terrorism’s funding, but also argues persuasively that the problem can be solved. -- —Yossef Bodansky, Author of “Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America and The High Cost of Peace”

A thoughtful treatment…and a major contribution to our understanding of what policy measures are needed… -- Washington Times

Ehrenfeld...spells out in detail where the terrorists' money comes from....Funding Evil will make you angry... -- Human Events

Funding Evil should be required reading for every elected and senior government official in the U.S. and Europe. -- Aviation Week & Space Technology

Rachel Ehrenfeld’s book is comprehensive, sobering, and timely. Her book is a must-read for everyone who holds democracy dear. -- —Yorm Hessel, Former Senior Mossad Officer

This brilliant book has a simple message: if we fail to understand them and how they operate, they will win. -- —Richard Perle, Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a member of the Defense Policy Board.

Valuable....[An] engaging and meticulously-researched text... -- The Jewish Press

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 268 pages
  • Publisher: Taylor Trade Publishing; First Edition edition (October 31, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1566251966
  • ISBN-13: 978-1566251969
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,457,597 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

77 of 83 people found the following review helpful By David Frankfurter on September 15, 2003
Format: Hardcover
If fanaticism is the heart of modern terrorism, then finance is its lifeblood - British Chancellor Gordon Brown November 24, 2002
Even the most devastating terrorist attack carries a surprisingly low price ticket. The organizers of the September 11 attacks are reported to have received change from their $500,000 stake money. Killing tens and injuring hundreds - whether in a Bali nightclub, a Jerusalem bus or a car bomb in India - sometimes costs less than a good meal. Nevertheless, the infrastructures of international terrorist networks cost billions of dollars.
Funding Evil, the latest book by Dr Rachel Ehrenfeld, director of the American Center of Democracy, details the organizations and their methods. Ehrenfeld shows the links and similarities between terrorists as diverse as The Hizballah, the many Palestinian terrorist groups, Tamil Tigers, Colombian narco-terrorists and radical Islamic terrorism around the world.
As US Attorney General John Ashcroft has said "Terrorists cannot terrorize without money...Those who knowingly finance terrorist organizations are just as dangerous and just as responsible as those who carry out the ultimate acts of terrorist violence." Funding Evil details how this funding of terror has taken place, exposing the state sponsorship, corruption, drug trafficking, money laundering and other criminal activities that have allowed these organizations and their leaders to amass fortunes and feed the spreading tentacles of terror. Ehrenfeld's timely book doesn't stop there, but recommends practical steps that can be taken to curb it.
Dr Ehrenfeld is a world expert in the topic, having lectured around the world, written copiously and been invited to make submissions and statements to world policy making bodies concerned with terrorism and its funding.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on August 10, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld is a world authority on narco-terrorism, providing commentary on the topic and consulting on the problems of international terrorism, political corruption and drug trafficking; so she's the perfect choice to author Funding Evil: How Terrorism Is Financed-And How To Stop It. Many experts may claim terrorism doesn't require money and while individual acts can be low-budget, global terrorist efforts require money to work. Dr. Ehrenfeld here draws a map between sources of funding and terrorist results.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Alyssa A. Lappen VINE VOICE on August 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
A dramatic episode in the annals of publishing history began early on January 23, 2004, when Rachel Ehrenfeld received an email from a London law firm threatening to sue her for libel for statements in this 2003 book concerning Saudi billionaire bin Mahfouz. Nine months later, his action was filed in London-where British laws make libel especially difficult to disprove.

Ehrenfeld's offense? Her book reports that bin Mahfouz, the former chairman of Saudi Arabia's largest bank, National Commercial Bank, had allegedly deposited "tens of millions of dollars in London and New York directly into terrorist accounts-the accounts of the same terrorists who were implicated in the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, in which 224 people were killed, including twelve Americans, and more than four thousand were injured."

The book implicated bin Mahfouz in transferring from the bank's Zakat (charity) Committee some $74 million to the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO) and to the Muwafaq "blessed relief" Foundation. Muwafaq in turn allegedly deposited funds directly with al Qaeda. Finally, Ehrenfeld also indicated that much of the funding for terrorism emanates from the Saudis, and from the bin Mahfouz and al Rahji families, who allegedly funnel the monies through a host of "charitable" institutions.

The reporter based her account of bin Mahfouz' alleged miscreance on a variety of reports from reputable journals and magazines, lawsuits, government documents, and data from public and anonymous government officials, among other sources. Although he denies any connection with terrorists, bin Mahfouz is among the targets of 10 lawsuits by the families of the September 11 victims, seeking damages of more than $1 trillion.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Shalom Freedman HALL OF FAME on March 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
In the global war against terror now being undertaken by the Bush Administration one important component is cutting off funds to the terrorists. In this informative volume Rachel Ehrenfeld one of the world's foremost experts in tracing illegal money exposes networks of Terror, including surprisingly those that have their base in the United States. She makes recommendations about how these networks can be closed down,and enjoins greater vigilance upon the part of US Govt. agencies in this struggle. This book exposes too the connections between various terror groups throughout the world.

It is a must read for anyone who wishes to understand an important component in the Western world's defense of itself against chaos and destruction.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Jill Malter on December 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover
As the author explains, an individual act of terror does not have to be very expensive. That's easy to believe. After all, many people could wreak havoc just with items they already possess, such as cars and rifles. And, as Ehrenfeld says, even a very sophisticated and deadly attack such as that of September 11, 2001, has been estimated to have cost only 500,000 dollars.

But we're not dealing with a few isolated attacks. We're dealing with a terror network that needs plenty of money for recruitment, training camps, housing, equipment, bribes, weapons, and various day-to-day expenses. And the author says that the total cost of maintaining the entire Islamist terror network is in the billions of dollars. Where does this money come from? And what can be done to stop it?

We learn that the money comes from governments, such as those of Saudi Arabia and Iran, from charitable organizations, from legitimate businesses operating as fronts, from investments ... and from criminal activities. Ehrenfeld identifies some of the organizations and banks that terrorists have used, and she pays particular attention to terrorrist use of drug money.

The author explains the PLO, an infamous terrorist group, had received 5.5 billion dollars in outright aid from the international community, including over 2.5 billion dollars from Europe. I was shocked that the European community couldn't find something much more productive to do with two and a half billion dollars than fund terror.

Ehrenfeld recommends adoption of an international integrity standard. Corrupt nations could be given economic penalties. Audits could show where money is actually going. And if we are honest about who our enemies are, we could cut off funds to them.
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