Microfinancing Terrorism: A Study in Al Qaeda Financing Strategy
Yale University - Department of Economics
Carlos L. Yordan
August 1, 2008
State of Corruption, State of Chaos: The Terror of Political Malfeasance, M. Cox, ed., pp. 167-82, 2008
This article explains why individuals support the work of charities that support jihadist operations, even when they may not agree with these organizations' agenda. Employing a behavioral model, we argue that individual Muslims donate monies to Islamist charities that support jihadist causes as a response to social pressures, in an attempt to avoid social seclusion. We divide this chapter into two parts. The first explains why al Qaeda and other jihadist groups use charities to raise most of their funds. Part two introduces our behavioral model. It explains that when publicly facing a charity's demands for funds a Muslim has three options. The first is exit or the person's decision to cut himself from the community in order to avoid the charity's fundraising efforts. The second option is sincere voice or an individual's public expression of dissatisfaction with the charity's demands or its agenda. The final option is self-subversion, which takes place when a person donates funds to a charity in order to comply with social pressures. After explaining why self-subversion tends to be the dominant response, we conclude this investigation with the model's policy implications in the ongoing global struggle against terrorism.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 13
Keywords: terrorism financing, Islamic charities, al Qaeda, dual preference model, counter terrorism, self-subversion
Date posted: October 21, 2008
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