How do I avoid buying stocks in companies that fund terrorism?
December 27, 2006 3:26 PM   Subscribe

How do I know if a company I want to buy stocks in funds terrorist groups?

It's a construction company operating out of the United Emirates, and I realize there are many businesses that do not in anyway fund terrorist activities -- but, many of them do. Considering how many of the terror benefactor businesses happen to be construction companies, I'm a bit paranoid.

I realize this will make a trivial, if any, financial impact, but it's for the sake of my conscience.
posted by spiderskull to Society & Culture (7 answers total)
"many of them do".

Your evidence for this? (The rantings of George W Bush do not constitute evidence.)
posted by TheRaven at 3:39 PM on December 27, 2006

Avoid energy stocks.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:52 PM on December 27, 2006

Any individuals or organizations seriously claiming to have the answer to this question are probably terrorists themselves, either Al-Quaeda-type ones or CIA-type ones.
posted by XMLicious at 4:03 PM on December 27, 2006

Response by poster: TheRaven -- the net funding comes from a variety of businesses, and I'm using second-hand sources from a few books I've read. Maybe "many" is describing too many, but more than a trivial number of businesses in the middle east fund extremist groups because they align with their personal beliefs. My sources may or may not be accurate, but that's out of the scope of this question anyway.

XMLicious -- you're probably right, but I'm wondering if there's some list of businesses I should obviously not invest in (meaning, they can directly and unambiguously be tied to known extremists).
posted by spiderskull at 5:30 PM on December 27, 2006

Best answer: The list you desire is unlikely to exist in exactly the form you want. You might consider using the U.S. Treasury Specially Designated Nationals List as a crude proxy for a list of organizations and individuals who can directly and unambiguously be tied to known extremists. The official SDN list can be found on the U.S. Treasury web site. It is maintained by U.S. Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and is supposed to include individuals and organizations who are proscribed by official U.S. foreign sanctions, including terrorists, narcotics traffickers, and those engaged in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

However, as the Wikipedia page at my first link mentions, the list is somewhat controversial and doesn't exactly match your requirements. You probably should only consider it a starting point for your research if you seriously want to limit your investments in the manner you describe.
posted by RichardP at 6:17 PM on December 27, 2006

I realize you are asking about terrorism, but since you appear to be an ethical person, there are other issues you might also wish to be aware of. From the CIA World Factbook entry for the UAE:
men from South Asia come to the UAE to work in the construction industry, but may be subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude as they are coerced to pay off recruitment and travel costs, sometimes having their wages denied for months at a time
The entry also mentions the traffic in sex slaves.

The UAE has forestalled every effort to reduce human traffic into their area, resulting in their being placed on the Tier 2 Watch List.

Investing in companies that use slaves, because it looks like they can make a good profit, is tantamount to using your money to directly support and encourage human slavery. That's probably worth at least a second thought.
posted by ikkyu2 at 11:01 AM on December 28, 2006 [1 favorite]

it's not really 'tantamount'. if you profit by owning a part of a company known to use slaves, you are a slaveowner.
posted by crabintheocean at 1:41 PM on December 28, 2006

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