Author and economist and expert on terrorism funding, Loretta Napoleoni details the rise of the Islamic State, and how its modernity and pragmatism has allowed it to redraw the map of the Middle East.
Loretta Napoleoni's latest book The Islamist Phoenix details the rise of IS and how how it promises its members the return of a prosperous Islamic state known as the Caliphate, ruled by a supreme leader.
She argues that the strength of the organisation is that it is pragmatic and modern, and spreads a popular and positive message to its potential followers, unlike Al Qaeda which was more old fashioned and did not appeal to the younger generation of Muslims.
"The IS uses violence and Sharia law together with propaganda distributed over social media and a variety of popular social programmes aimed at improving the living conditions of the Sunni population trapped inside the Caliphate"
Loretta Napoleoni also follows the money trail, explaining how it has been bankrolled by wealthy Kuwaiti's Qataris and Saudis who were seeking regime change in Syria, but instead using the money to establish its own territorial strongholds in strategic regions.
She speaks to Kathryn Ryan on Nine to Noon ahead of her appearance at the Aspiring Conversations Festival in Queenstown.