Merchants of Men

Loretta Napoleoni

RRP: £17.99

5 January 2017

Published by Atlantic Books

ISBN: 9781782399919

RRP: £9.99

5 January 2017

Published by Atlantic Books

ISBN: 9781782399926

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 post-9/11 political chaos and the fi­asco of the Arab Spring, coupled with the destabilization of Syria and Iraq and the rise of ISIS, controls it. The ever-increasing political volatility has offered them new business opportunities, from trafficking millions of refugees to selling Western hostages to jihadist groups.

The kidnapping industry in the Middle East is now worth hundreds of billions of dollars annually. Loretta Napoleoni’s exclusive and meticulous research into the business of kidnap and ransom, and its link to terrorist activity, is based on first-hand accounts – from interviews with hostage negotiators to the experiences of former hostages themselves. Merchants of Men is a fascinating and eye-opening exploration of this most shocking of financial interdependencies.


It is a fascinating story... Read Merchants of Men and you will never again ask why a Syrian teenager alighting in Croydon looks older and more wearied than his years.
The Times

A frightening new book... [Napoleoni] catalogues kidnapping-for-cash by both government and rebel forces in Syria, but also has harsh words for our own profession of journalism.

[Napoleoni] helps to explain the staying power of Isis.
Financial Times

Previous acclaim: 'The Islamist Phoenix is a vital contribution to our understanding of what is happening in the Middle East. It is, like all great pieces of journalism or history, a counter-narrative, one that refuses to become trapped in the easy and fatuous clichés peddled in the West about resistance and radical Islam.'
Chris Hedges, former Middle East bureau chief for the New York Times

[A] tantalizing search to disentangle the threads of legend and reality in the strange tale of Abu Mos'ab al Zarqawi.Noam Chomsky
Praise for Insurgent Iraq

Utterly compelling, heroically researched... [an] indispensable analysis.Praise for TERROR, INCORPORATED

A fascinating and incisive cataloguing of the known economic activities of organizations that ... have as their aim the transformation of the Middle East, the broader Muslim world and, ultimately, the United States.Praise for TERROR, INCORPORATED
The New York Times

A masterpiece... this book should be required reading for everyone in the White House, State Department and Pentagon.Praise for TERROR, INCORPORATED, by Greg Palast, author of THE BEST DEMOCRACY MONEY CAN BUY

Loretta Napoleoni has cast a light on the disturbing evolution of the criminal and jihadist kidnapping rings in the Middle East, a multimillion-dollar-a-year business, to the even more lucrative trafficking of migrants to Europe... This is the new world order.Chris Hedges, author of WAGES OF REBELLION and former Middle East Bureau Chief for The New York Times