Merchants of Men: Inside the Billion-Dollar Business of Kidnapping and International Human Trafficking
Every day, a powerful and sophisticated underground business delivers thousands of refugees along the Mediterranean coasts of Europe. A new breed of criminals, risen from the political chaos of post-9/11 Western foreign policy and the fiasco of the Arab Spring, controls it. In the early 2000s these merchants of men prospered by smuggling cocaine from West Africa and kidnapping westerners to sell to jihadist organisations like al-Qaeda in the Maghreb. More recently, the destabilisation of Syria and Iraq coupled with the rise of ISIS offered them new business opportunities in the Middle East, from selling western hostages to trafficking millions of refugees...Overall in these regions, the kidnapping and trafficking industries are bigger than the illegal drug trade and are worth hundreds of billions of dollars annually. Merchants of Men is based on exclusive access to those involved in kidnapping and trafficking - hostage negotiators, counterterrorism experts, members of the security services, former hostages, traffickers and refugees. In a gripping narrative it will describe the brutal processes of kidnapping and human trafficking from a personal and global level, and the shocking economic interdependency of their business models...
Loretta Napoleoni is the author of The Islamist Phoenix: ISIS and the Redrawing of the Middle East, Rogue Economics: Capitalism's New Reality, and Terror Incorporated: Tracing the Money Behind Global Terrorism. She lives in London and Montana, USA.