Microfinancing Terrorism: A Study in Al Qaeda Financing Strategy

State of Corruption, State of Chaos: The Terror of Political Malfeasance, M. Cox, ed., pp. 167-82, 2008

13 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2008  

Tolga Koker

Yale University - Department of Economics

Carlos L. Yordan

Drew University

Date Written: August 1, 2008

Abstract

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.

Keywords: terrorism financing, Islamic charities, al Qaeda, dual preference model, counter terrorism, self-subversion

Suggested Citation

Koker, Tolga and Yordan, Carlos L., Microfinancing Terrorism: A Study in Al Qaeda Financing Strategy (August 1, 2008). State of Corruption, State of Chaos: The Terror of Political Malfeasance, M. Cox, ed., pp. 167-82, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1287241

Tolga Koker

Yale University - Department of Economics ( email )

28 Hillhouse Ave
New Haven, CT 06520-8281
United States

Carlos L. Yordan (Contact Author)

Drew University ( email )

Department of Political Science
Madison, NJ 07940
United States
973 408 3365 (Phone)

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