Terrorism, diasporas, and permissive threat environments: a study of Hezballah's fundraising operations in Paraguay and Ecuador
Meehan, Howard Vincent
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Increased focus on the TBA after Hizballah-linked bombings in Buenos Aires (1992) and the Argentine- Israeli Mutual Association (1994), and again after the September 11 attacks in the United States, produced an increased understanding of Hizballah's fundraising operations, but also led Hizballah to shift its fundraising operations to other Latin American locations- to which the location, nature, and extent are largely unknown. This thesis develops a framework to identify where and how Hizballah conducts fundraising operations in Latin America. The focus of analysis is how host-nation characteristics, geo-strategic variables, and diaspora characteristics influence the nature and significance of Hizballah's fundraising operations in Paraguay and Ecuador. Hizballah's fundraising operations in Paraguay are shaped by favorable geo-strategic variables, hostnation characteristics, and diaspora characteristics. Predictably then, Hizballah employs a wide range of fundraising operations in Paraguay producing substantial profits. In Ecuador as well, geo-strategic variables and host-nation characteristics facilitate fundraising operations. More interesting however, Hizballah has likely tailored its fundraising operations to mitigate the influence of unfavorable diaspora characteristics and maximize the potential of favorable host-nation characteristics and geo-strategic variables. This thesis finds that diasporas are valuable to fundraising operations and outlines policy implications for their treatment by governments combating terrorist fundraising operations.
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