Terrorism Expert and Author Loretta Napoleoni to Lecture at Hamilton

Loretta Napoleoni, terrorism expert and author of Terror Incorporated: Tracing the Dollars Behind the Terror Networks and Insurgent Iraq: Al-Zarqawi and the New Generation, will present a lecture titled "Who is Financing Global Terror Networks?" on Monday, Nov. 7, at 8 p.m., in the Hamilton College Chapel. This event is free and open to the public.

Napoleoni, born and raised in Rome, was a Fulbright scholar at Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies and a Rotary Scholar at the London School of Economics. She is a journalist and has worked as a foreign correspondent for several Italian financial papers. In addition to Terror, Incorporated, she has written novels, guide books in Italian and translated and edited books on terrorism. She was among the few people to interview the Red Brigades in Italy after three decades of silence; this research became the topic of her PhD.

In Terror, Incorporated, Napoleoni traces 50 years of Western economic and political dominance in developing Muslim countries - backing repressive, corrupt regimes, fighting the Cold War by Proxy and blocking the legitimate economic ascendancy of millions. "As in the Crusades," in which Napoleoni finds many modern parallels, "religion is simply a recruitment tool; the real driving force is economics."

New York Times' reviewer Alan Cowell describes Terror, Incorporated: "What this work does achieve is a fascinating and incisive cataloguing of the known economic activities of organizations that, whether terrorist or not, have as their aim the transformation of the existing order in the Middle East, the broader Muslim world and, ultimately, the United States." The Wall Street Journal added, "Economist Loretta Napoleoni comes up with a startling conclusion that the 'New Economy of Terror' is a fast growing international economic system, with a turnover of about $1.5 trillion, twice the GDP of the United Kingdom."

Napoleoni's most recent book, Insurgent Iraq, traces the story of the infamous new face of al Zarqawi and his involvement in the region as the supposed link between Saddam Hussein and Al Queda. Dr. Yoram Kahati, Research Fellow at The International Policy Institute for Counter Terrorism at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel, commented, "Dr. Napoleoni's portrayal of al-Zarqawi's transformation, from a Jordanian petty criminal into probably today's most active Sunni-Islamic terrorist leader in Iraq, is a must read."

This event is sponsored by the Globalization Sophomore Seminars and the Arthur Levitt Public Affairs Center and is free and open to the public.

-- by Molly Kane '09

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