Joshua Sinai at the Washington Times offers a review of Nitsana Darshan-Leitner and Samuel M. Katz’s Harpoon: Inside the Covert War Against Terrorism’s Money Masters.
Terrorist groups like ISIS raise hundreds of millions of dollars to finance their activities and attacks through illicit means. The Islamic Republic of Iran bankrolls its Palestinian Hamas and Lebanese Hezbollah proxies with large flows of cash. Hezbollah raises additional funds by engaging in criminal enterprises such as narco-trafficking across several continents.
Hamas, from its base in the Gaza Strip, smuggles funds to its operatives in the Palestinian territories in the West Bank. These and other terrorist groups also raise funds from their supporters in Europe and the United States, which are sent back through illicit means to their safe havens in the Middle East.
Terrorist groups’ activities, such as sustaining their organizational structures, acquiring weapons, organizing terrorist operations, as well as managing their non-terrorist activities such as managing their social-welfare and educational services, are dependent on continuous funding streams. Counterterrorism agencies, therefore, understand that their terrorist adversaries’ funding sources represent an important center-of-gravity to significantly weaken their overall warfare effectiveness.
In “Harpoon: Inside the Covert War Against Terrorism’s Money Masters,” Nitsana Darshan-Leitner and Samuel Katz shed light on previously classified accounts of how Israel, facing wide-ranging terrorist attacks from Hamas, Hezbollah and others, forged its intelligence, military, police and diplomatic services into an effective task force — code-named Harpoon — to counter terror-based financing around the world.