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Illicit financial flows: The role of Al Qaeda and its affiliates in the Islamic Maghreb

Theodore Kouts

No 63, OECD Development Co-operation Working Papers from OECD Publishing

Abstract: Illicit financial flows (IFFs) in West Africa have long contributed to the region’s instability, partly due to their links to regional terrorist organisations such as Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). AQIM has directly and indirectly participated in and perpetuated illicit financial flows in the region not only through violent means but also through diverse links with the local economy and society. AQIM and its regional affiliates have a profound influence on the political economy of the Sahel and the Maghreb, as well as greater West Africa, and it is important to understand the role played by AQIM in IFFs and the means by which this drives regional instability. This case study examines the political-economic context and the nature and scope of the mechanisms through which AQIM (and its affiliates) operate, with particular emphasis given to their interaction with the local economy and any resulting IFFs.

Keywords: AQIM; development; financial exclusion; illicit financial flows (IFFs); illicit trade; kidnap for ransom; Mali; poverty; smuggling; terrorist financing; trafficking; West Africa (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D73 K42 O17 O55 Q01 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019-12-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ara and nep-isf
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