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Speculative Security

Speculative Security: The Politics of Pursuing Terrorist Monies

Copyright Date: 2012
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 312
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  • Book Info
    Speculative Security
    Book Description:

    Since the terrorist acts of September 11, 2001, finance and security have become joined in new ways to produce particular targets of state surveillance. Marieke de Goede describes how previously unscrutinized practices such as donations and remittances have been affected by security measures, revealing how creating “security” appeals to multiple imaginable—and unimaginable—futures to enable action in the present.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-8033-7
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-xii)
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  5. INTRODUCTION The Politics of Terrorism Financing
    (pp. xv-xxxii)

    In November 2008, a Texas Court declared a guilty verdict in the case of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) and five of its leaders for providing material support to Hamas in what has been called “the government’s flagship terrorism-financing case.”¹ HLF was America’s largest Muslim charity before 2001 but became a designated terrorist entity under Terrorist Financing Executive Order 13224 because of its alleged donations to Palestinian Hamas. Executive Order 13224 was enacted less than two weeks after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 (9/11), to increase governmental powers to freeze assets and sanction suspect...

    (pp. 1-26)

    In the 2006 James Bond filmCasino Royale, the “bad guy,” Albanian mathematical genius and gambling addict Le Chiffre, is a terrorist financier. Described as “a private banker to the world’s terrorists” by fictional MI6 director M (played by Judi Dench), Le Chiffre embodies pure evil not because he seeks world domination, as Cold War Bond villains often did, but because of the multiple and undefined terrorist plots he is willing to finance across the globe for his personal financial gain. Le Chiffre himself is characterized as completely devoid of belief or principle. When at the beginning of the film...

    (pp. 27-56)

    In October 2006, then-UK Chancellor Gordon Brown (later to become prime minister) outlined his vision for the fight against terrorism in a speech to Britain’s leading international affairs think tank, Chatham House. Perhaps motivated by the need to distinguish this vision from the violent and increasingly unpopular military intervention in Iraq, Brown’s speech placed pursuing terrorist money at the center of his strategy. Brown’s vision of the extent of the promise offered by the deployment of financial data is remarkable. “What the use of fingerprints was to the nineteenth century, and DNA analysis was to the twentieth century,” said Brown,...

  8. 3 FOLLOWING THE MONEY Risk, Preemption, and the Mobile Norm
    (pp. 57-94)

    As we saw in chapter 2, in the wake of 9/11 financial data became imbued with a special significance. Through the idea that money trails do not lie, financial analysis came to hold the promise of unmediated and direct access to the mapping of terrorist networks. As one investigative journalist put it, financial data, including “bank transfers; the ties among customers; the use of automated teller machines” are considered to “amount to a new kind of weapon in the amorphous war on terrorism.”¹ In this sense, the post-9/11 finance–security assemblage became mounted on new deployments of financial data. Two...

    (pp. 95-124)

    Chapter 3 examined the processes of financial datamining taking place within the financial industry to select and target suspicious transactions among millions of records daily. We saw that such targeting takes place on the basis of mobile criteria related to account histories, professional profiles, lifestyle details, and geographical associations. Yet another criterion is considered to be of prior and prime importance in determining suspicion vis-à-vis financial transactions—traceability. Put simply, money and transactions that are relatively invisible within the regular channels of Western recordkeeping and reporting are quickly considered to be suspicious in themselves. This is the flip side of...

    (pp. 125-154)

    This book started with a brief examination of the trial of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), the biggest Muslim faith-based charity in the United States, which was listed and destroyed in the wake of 9/11 and whose directors were convicted of material support for Hamas and sentenced to substantial prison terms in 2008. This case illustrates the central problematic of this book in several ways, most notably through how it signaled the emergence of money as a key site for security practice coupled with an anticipatory security logic that seeks to identify and targetpotentialfuture...

    (pp. 155-186)

    In December 2006, members of the alleged Dutch terrorist group the Hofstadgroep were put on the European Union’s terrorism sanction list (or EU blacklist). The Hofstadgroep is the name given by the Dutch secret services to a group of individuals—mostly young Muslim men who are second-generation migrants but also a few women and one Dutch convert—loosely affiliated with Mohammed Bouyeri, the murderer of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh. This group met at different times and in different constellations, sometimes at the house of Bouyeri in Amsterdam, allegedly to exchange radical ideas and to discuss or plan violent acts....

  12. CONCLUSION Premediation and Contestation
    (pp. 187-216)

    This book has shown that the post-9/11 pursuit of terrorist monies has fostered a finance–security assemblage that governs through preemption and anticipation. Contrary to expectation, the objective of counterterrorism financing is not to cut off money flows to (potential) terrorists. The objective is to enable preemptive intervention in the spaces of everyday life, including charitable donation, migrants’ remittances, and everyday banking. The objective is, in the words of the UK Treasury, to “look forward” and to “look sideways,” thus enabling a broadening of thetimeof security and thespaceof security. This book analyzed these new securitizations and...

  13. NOTES
    (pp. 217-266)
  14. INDEX
    (pp. 267-274)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 275-275)