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Illicit Money: Financing Terrorism in the Twenty-First Century

Jessica Davis
Illicit Money: Financing Terrorism in the Twenty-First Century
ISBN: 978-1-62637-982-4
ISBN: 978-1-62637-993-0
2021/240 pages/LC: 2021016760
"Will benefit both newcomers and those already entrenched in the world of counterterrorism financing." —Elizabeth Weakley, Parameters

"I cannot recommend Davis' book highly enough for those students, academics, or practitioners wishing to learn more about how terrorist groups acquire, use, and attempt to hold onto their funds.... The book will make a valuable addition to the literature on this subject for years to come.” —Joseph Power, Australian Outlook

"A critical pillar of financial terrorism research.... The book serves as an excellent foundational text." —Vivek Thangam, Æther: A Journal of Strategic Airpower and Spacepower

"A timely and wide-ranging contribution to the collective understanding of terrorism financing.... Both engaging to read and an essential reference." —Alex Zerden, Lawfare

"An important, authoritative and comprehensive examination of the role of funding in terrorism." —Joshua Sinai, Perspectives on Terrorism

"An important contribution…. Davis systematically and holistically lays out all of the components of terrorism financing and provides ample examples of each." —Michael Freeman, Naval Postgraduate School


Terrorists need money ... to recruit and train people, to buy weapons, to maintain safe houses, to carry out attacks. Which raises the question: how do they procure and protect funds to finance their operations? In Illicit Money, Jessica Davis thoroughly answers that question.

Davis explores the full spectrum of terrorist finance, drawing on extensive case studies to dissect how individuals, cells, and organizations raise and manage, as well as hide, funds. In her concluding chapters, she considers both opportunities and challenges related to countering these illicit activities.


Jessica Davis is president and principal consultant at Insight Threat Intelligence, Ottawa. She previously served as senior strategic analyst at the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS).


  • Financing Terrorism.
  • Finding Donors.
  • Using and Abusing Organizations.
  • Designing Business Models.
  • Making Crime Pay.
  • Deploying Funds.
  • Managing, Storing, and Investing Funds.
  • Moving Funds.
  • Obscuring Funds.
  • Stemming the Flow of Funds.
  • Old Methods, New Technologies.