Imogen Richards
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Al Qaeda's financial practices
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This chapter investigates fundraising and financial governance on the part of Al Qaeda from the 1990s to 2014. First, it outlines detail of US-directed interventions in Afghanistan during the Afghan–Soviet War (1979–1989). Building on the description of these interventions before the declaration of the establishment of Al Qaeda in 1988, the analysis then explores the relative significance for Al Qaeda fundraising of wealthy donors and charities in the Middle Eastern region, alternative remittance systems, and broader commercial activities. Insights from declassified Western government intelligence material, testimony from figures within these organisations, and reliable information from think tanks are applied to the documentary discussion of Al Qaeda finance. The concluding section of the chapter discusses precepts of Islamic finance that conflict with the political and economic policies of neoliberalism, including neoliberal economic managerial mechanisms. Collectively, the chapter explores how Al Qaeda’s financial behaviour can be understood as representing the organisation’s collective expression of ‘habitus’ within a ‘field’ and ‘doxa’ of normalised neoliberal political-economic relations.

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Neoliberalism and neo-jihadism

Propaganda and finance in Al Qaeda and Islamic State


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