It’s difficult to overstate the importance of this story. The Chronicle of Higher Education (sub. required) on Wednesday published an article about Khalid bin Mafouz, a wealthy Saudi banker, and his successful effort to persuade the Cambridge University Press to halt the publication of four books that detail how Saudi citizens use their wealth to finance global terrorism. One of those books, Alms for Jihad, was once on sale at Amazon and elsewhere, but it has been pulled from sale and copies of it are now being pulped. Cambridge has even sent out letters to libraries that stock it and the other three books, asking for their return so that they too can be pulped, meaning they will soon disappear, burying the details they contain on how terrorism finance works and who is behind it.
Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld of the American Center for Democracy is one of the authors whose books have been subject to judicial attack by Khalid bin Mafouz. I interviewed her about the case of the censorious jihad financier, and Cambridge Press’ cowardly capitulation to him. She is the author of Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed and How to Stop It. She is the only author to date who is fighting back.
More background on this story here, and follow the links.
Update: NRO’s Stanley Kurtz, whose post yesterday (linked above) inspired this interview, links here today and observes:
I continue to be struck by the potential significance of this story, and also by the extent to which a resolution now depends upon the blogosphere. Ultimately, I think the resources of the mainstream press will have to be mobilized in order to resolve the questions at issue here. But there is much the blogosphere can do–above all, generate the sort of publicity that will protect Ehrenfeld and others, and that will force the mainstream press to investigate. And the sort of legal expertise the blogosphere can provide clearly needs to be brought to bear here. There are important and fascinating issues of free speech and national sovereignty at stake, and resolving the legal complexities is well above my pay grade. But that this is a story worth pursuing seems certain.