Seeds of Terror: The Taliban, the ISI and the New Opium Wars


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‘A stunning, deeply disturbing book. A must-read for all Western policymakers and President Obama before they implement any new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.’ – Ahmed Rashid, New York Times bestselling author of Taliban and Descent into Chaos

‘Peters has done a superlative job with Seeds of Terror. It is a primer for the new administration – a blueprint for what must be done in Afghanistan to rescue victory from the jaws of defeat.’ – Jack Lawn, DEA chief under Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush

‘Detailed and highly readable… masterfully traces the enormous success of the illegal heroin trade in Afghanistan.’ – Frederick P. Hitz, former inspector general of the CIA and author of Why Spy?

‘September 11 cost al Qaeda only $500,000. Terrorist groups can now earn that from the dope trade every week.’

We think of the Taliban and al Qaeda as jihadis fighting an Islamic crusade from caves in Afghanistan. But that doesn’t explain why, eight years after the war on terror was declared, the CIA says these groups are better armed and better funded than ever. Seeds of Terror will reshape the way we think about the Taliban and al Qaeda, revealing them less as ideologues and more as criminals who earn half a billion dollars every year off the opium trade. With the breakneck pace of a thriller, author Gretchen Peters traces their activities from the vast poppy fields of Helmand to heroin labs run by Taliban commanders, from drug convoys protected by Stinger missiles to Dawood Ibrahim’s money-laundering services in Karachi and Dubai. In this book, information gleaned from hundreds of interviews with Taliban fighters, smugglers, and law enforcement and intelligence agents is matched by intelligence reports shown to the author by frustrated U.S. officials who fear the next 9/11 will be far deadlier than the first – and paid for with drug profits. Seeds of Terror makes the case that we must cut terrorists off from their drug earnings if we ever hope to beat them. This war isn’t about ideology or religion. It’s about creating a new economy for the region: the war on terror must equally be a war on drugs.

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