Blood profits How American consumers unwittingly fund terrorists

Vanessa Neumann

Book - 2017

International smuggling has exploded, deepening and accelerating the collaboration of transnational organized crime and terrorist groups. Vanessa Neumann, an expert on dismantling illicit trade, explains how purchasing illegal goods translates to supporting organized crime and terrorists. Neumann leads the reader through a variety of cases, both by geography and by industry (selecting industries where illicit trade is generally poorly understood), before extracting lessons learned into some poli...cy recommendations that we can all embrace.

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Subjects
Published
New York : St. Martin's Press 2017.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
viii, 307 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 22 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages [277]-296) and index.
ISBN
9781250089359
1250089352
Main Author
Vanessa Neumann (author)
  • A simple transaction
  • Learning about crime, terror, and corruption
  • "A little fun"
  • Filling in the puzzle
  • Sheikh, colonel, trafficker, terrorist
  • The war games begin
  • Khans, bags, and triads
  • Up in smoke
  • Bad sport
  • Trading in sickness and violence
  • It's all about the Benjamins
  • Crime and terror converge
  • The stories we tell.
Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Neumann, a consultant who advises governments and companies on corruption and illicit trade, illuminates the strategies of drug cartels, smugglers, and terrorist organizations as they work in concert via a "crime-terror pipeline" for financial and ideological gains. A native of Venezuela, Neumann begins by offering her outspoken criticism of Hugo Chavez and his dealings with Colombian drug cartels before turning her eye globally. Her research takes her all over Central America, to China's Silk Road market, and to Lebanon, where she attends a chilling Hezbollah rally. Neumann explores how terrorists and cartels alike create false narratives about revolution and freedom from oppression, "manipulating fear, resentment, or other emotions of nationalism or group identity" to acquire money, recruits, and power. The result is seemingly endless "asymmetric warfare" between superpowers such as the U.S. and stateless entities such as ISIS. While this is fascinating, and certainly evidence of a very real problem, Neumann rarely touches on how ordinary consumers can consciously opt out of supporting nefarious organizations. Perhaps those seeking counterfeit designer handbags might have second thoughts, but most users of illicit drugs likely do not ask or care where their product comes from. These are thorny, multifaceted issues, however, and Neumann can't be blamed for not solving them here. Agent: Keith Korman, Raines & Raines Literary Representatives. (Dec.) Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Revealing how the multibillion-dollar illegal trade of everyday counterfeit products is actually funding the world's terrorist organizations, a sobering report by an expert on countering illicit trade explains the dangerous consequences of purchasing contraband, from cheap cigarettes and prostitute services to fake designer bags and bootleg DVDs.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Revealing how the multibillion-dollar illegal trade of everyday counterfeit products is actually funding the world's terrorist organizations, a report by an expert on countering illicit trade explains the dangerous consequences of purchasing contraband.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

International smuggling has exploded, deepening and accelerating the collaboration of transnational organized crime and terrorist groups. Attacks like the Charlie Hebdo and Bataclan shootings in Paris, the kidnappings and murders by Boko Haram in Nigeria, and the San Bernardino shooting were partially funded by seemingly harmless illegal goods such as cheap cigarettes, smuggled oil, prostitution, fake Viagra, fake designer bags, and even bootleg DVDs.But how can this be? In Blood Profits, Vanessa Neumann, an expert on dismantling illicit trade, explains how purchasing illegal goods translates to supporting organized crime and terrorists. Neumann shows how the effects of the collapsed Iron Curtain, USSR scientists and intelligence agents left without work, regional trade pacts, the dissipation of the East-versus-West mentality, and new-age technology have all led to an intricate network of illegal trade. She leads the reader through a variety of cases, both by geography and by industry (selecting industries where illicit trade is generally poorly understood), before extracting lessons learned into some policy recommendations that we can all embrace.