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REPORT – Funding the jihad

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PART ONE: A terrorist attack in the name of Allah costs small change: $5,000 for the Charlie Hebdo murders, not much more than $8,000 for the Bataclan massacre.

As the economist Loretta Napoleoni has so aptly written, money is what makes terrorism tick. Not ideology, not religion, not any revolutionary spirit or a yearning for martyrdom, but money. On the face of it, this should simplify the task of putting an end to terrorism. Faith and fanaticism are intangible and non-measurable motivators, while cash is a tangible and quantifiable asset. Unfortunately, however, in contemporary society, money is also the engine of all that is not terrorism. From business and manufacturing activities to social welfare, entertainment and political commitments, everything requires funding. And in a globalised world, even money often becomes intangible.

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