Gray Money, Corruption and the Post-September 11 Middle East

by John Sfakianakis
published in MER222

Graft, smuggling and kickbacks in the Middle East create huge sums of money requiring concealment in a secretive banking system. Al-Qaeda has simply used existing mechanisms for hiding cash. Regime and elite corruption, not pervasive regional sympathy with Osama bin Laden, are the main factors inhibiting the cooperation of banks in the Middle East with Bush’s “war on terrorist finances.”

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