Follow the money. It’s the watchword of anyone trying to unravel a complex system to track down those who work behind the scenes. Rachel Ehrenfeld had done such a good job of following the money behind Al-Qaeda, international terrorism and the Taliban that she was being sued by a Saudi king-pin whom she names in her book, Funding Evil, first published in 2003.
She wasn't being sued in the U.S. though. The Saudi banker she named engaged in “forum-shopping” for his libel lawsuit, entering it in British courts in spite of the fact that the book was published only in the U.S. Because Britain’s libel laws place the burden of proof on the defendant (in other words, one is guilty until proven innocent), libel suits are much easier to win in that country.
Despite this suit, Ehrenfeld revised and updated the book for its paperback release, including information from the 9/11 Commission Report and other data learned in the intervening years. The new edition included a foreword written by R. James Woolsey, the CIA Director from 1993-95.
The author was one of the first to identify the relationship between criminal narcotics trafficking and global terrorism, and coined the phrase “narco-terrorism.” She does not hesitate to point fingers wherever the money leads. Banks, brokers, politicos and profiteers all come under Ehrenfeld’s scrutiny, and the book specifies how each branch of the terrorist network is underwritten:
- al-Qaeda (the “Islamist Plague”)
- the Palestinians
- Hizballah (the “Party of God”)
- other narco-terrorists
Particularly chilling is the chapter on Hizballah (as Ehrenfeld spells Hezbollah throughout the book). The author identifies Iraqi, Iranian and Syrian connections of this Lebanon-based organization and traces its funding and recruitment efforts as far away as Paris.
In the spring of 2000, Iranian intelligence took steps to consolidate all Palestinian terrorist organizations into a single Secret Islamic Revolutionary Army, with Hezbollah’s expert operative Imad Mugniyah at the helm, to help Arafat plan his September attacks on Israel… In late July , Iran arranged a meeting in Afghanistan between Osama bin Laden’s new “Lebanon team”… and a Palestinian delegation. As a result, al-Qaeda terrorists were sent to Lebanon for intensive training by Hezbollah in “the laying of ambushes, bomb construction and diffusing [sic] techniques, local booby-trapping techniques, and clandestine communications,” as well as in the forging of documents.
The money that funds terrorism continues to flow, despite years of effort to freeze assets. Ehrenfeld makes very clear her central argument; so long as we ignore the real people and organizations that command, fund, support and commit acts of terror, and instead concentrate our war against a nebulous “terrorism”, we cannot hope to succeed. Her book constitutes a well-researched enemies list for the prosecution of the war on terror.
Notes on 2011 Revised Edition, available on Kindle:
Although the list of organizations at the forefront of terror is always expanding and changing, money trails continue to lead to the same short list of sources.
Dr. Ehrenfeld succeeded in fighting off the Saudi lawsuit. She includes in this edition the description of how that success was achieved.
From the Amazon description:
Dr. Ehrenfeld's initiative and efforts led to the passage of New York' State's anti-libel tourism "Rachel's Law " and the SPEECH Act, signed into law in August 2010. These laws protect American writers and publishers in print and on the Internet from the enforcement of foreign libel judgements in the US.
In a rare event, the SPEECH act was passed unanimously by both houses of the U.S. Congress before being signed by President Obama on August 10, 2010.