Thank you – to the Mossad, Shurat HaDin and Nitsana Darshan Leitner, is all those who stand against terrorism will say after reading the new gripping book “Harpoon: Inside the Covert War Against Terrorism’s Money Masters” by Darshan-Leitner and Samuel Katz. This fascinating story describes work done since 9-11 by a range of Israeli security organizations and private lawyers to “destroy terrorists’ money networks.”
The book tells the tale of the legendary Mossad commander Meir Dagan, as he creates an intelligence task force, code-named Harpoon, to launch financial warfare against the terrorist organizations that target Israel and the west. Harpoon utilizes soldiers, spies, accountants, diplomats, hackers, assassins and even lawyers to try and choke off the funding that is the oxygen of the Middle East extremist groups. Dagan gave his task force agents a broad directive – “Follow the money, Target the money and Kill the money.” Darshan-Leitner worked with Israeli intelligence units to financially battle the terror groups in courtrooms around the world.
In reading this book, one learns:
– The true cost of a suicide bomber is much more than the vest and explosives and nails carried by the terrorist. Monies must be paid to those who train them, those who drive them to the location of the bombing, those who buy the nails, the safe houses in which they live prior to the bombing, the recruiters who find the people willing to be bombers, and more. Each of these people has families, clothing and health bills, and more. This mission found where the money comes from and did everything to stop the flow of monies.
– Israel set up worldwide operations to stop the flow of terrorist organizations dealing drugs which funded worldwide terrorism, and as the book implies, set up multiple ponzi schemes to rip off the wealthiest terrorists in the world, including Hezbollah and Yasser Arafat, both of whom were stripped of hundreds of millions of dollars using covert operations, under the guise of anything is acceptable when it comes to stopping terrorism. In one particularly riveting narrative, the book details the story of an Arab financier’ Salah Ezzedine who became known as the “Lebanese Bernie Madoff” in an operation which was conducted by Israel’s security services to strip Hezbollah and their leaders of up to a billion dollars.
– Ever wonder why you are asked the purpose of your wire transfers? The answer comes in this book – simply, worldwide financial institutions have tired of transfer money because the risk of expensive litigation has outweighed the risks of touching terrorist money. This book details the fascinating relationships and litigation work done by Shurat Hadin, led by co-author Nitsana Darshan-Leitner which has achieved over $2 billion in judgments on behalf of victims of terror. Those who touch terror must be bankrupted and challenged worldwide. It’s hard to get Hamas to write a check– less hard from banks at which they keep money.
This fascinating book about the intelligence and legal war against terror is a must-read. As we learn in the end of the book, similar efforts are now utilized by the United States to counter ISIS and other enemies of the West. This unconventional warfare – lawfare – is part and parcel of today’s weapons in fighting terror.
Tamir Pardo, the former Director of the Mossad said that this book is, “The riveting and untold story of the intelligence task force that launched a dynamic new front in the war on terror. A thrill ride with one of the most important Israeli start-ups of them all.” He’s right – and while more than 20% of the book was censored by Israeli security services, its nevertheless an eye-opener and must read to better understand the ongoing fight against terror.