Inside the Panama Papers investigation of elite’s hidden wealth – new book Secrecy World reviewed

Secrecy World: Inside the Panama Papers Investigation of Illicit Money Networks and the Global Elite

by Jake Bernstein

Henry Holt

3 stars

In the days after the events of September 11, 2001, it became clear to intelligence agencies that tracking the funds of terrorist groups and individuals was one of the most powerful tools at their disposal. Thus, “follow the money,” a Watergate-era dictum, acquired renewed relevance in the 21st century.

Monitoring money flows would not only allow those fighting terrorism to disrupt al-Qaeda’s financial support, but, even more important, it could provide actionable intelligence about the terrorists’ identities, their whereabouts and, in some cases, even their future targets.

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Unfortunately, it became equally apparent that there were significant hurdles in tracking these money flows. The international financial system was rife with centuries-old rules,

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