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TERRORISM AND ORGANIZED CRIME

Abstract
Analyses on Organized Crime and Terrorism have for a long time been conducted by different
research communities. Only in the 1980s, hen illicit drug !roduction and traffic"ing ere found to
finance terrorist cam!aigns, a first beginning as made to loo" at both !henomena simultaneously.
#oever, the nature of the relationshi! has been a matter of controversy.
Organized crime and terrorism are usually viewed as two different forms of crime. Organized
crime is generally held to focus mainly on economic profit and on acquiring as much of an illegal
market share as possible, while terrorism is said to be motivated chiefly by ideological aims and by a
desire for political change. The differences between them rest on means and ends. Terrorism aims to
overthrow the existing government by altering the status quo. Organized crime, on the other hand
aims to form a parallel government while coexisting with the existing one; any change in the status
quo is only circumstantial and born out of convenience rather than zealous revisionist policy.
econdly, terrorism primarily uses violent means, whereas organized crime prefers to be non!violent
notwithstanding odd resort to belligerence. Third, terrorism is driven purely by political ob"ectives
despite exploitation of regional, national and religious sentiments to achieve their ends; conversely,
economic ob"ectives are the operational determinants of organized crime.
A Hypothesis of Convergence
On #$ eptember #%%&, less than three weeks after the dramatic events of eptember && in
'ew (ork and )ashington, the ecurity *ouncil of the +nited 'ations adopted a wide!ranging anti!
terrorism resolution ,* res. &-.-/ in which it 0notes with concern the close connection between
international terrorism and transnational organized crime, illicit drugs, money!laundering, illegal
arms!trafficking, and illegal movement of nuclear, chemical, biological and other potentially deadly
materials1.
2arious authors keep referring to more or less the same examples, the 345* in *olombia,
endero 6uminoso in 7eru, guerrilla fighters in *hechnya, the 4bu ayyaf 8roup in the 7hilippines,
the 9:+ in +zbekistan and a few others. 9t is striking that none of them provide a thorough empirical
analysis of any of these cases and the evidence cited never goes much deeper than a good media
account.
hy !in"s or even Meta#orphosis$
G%oba%isation ! 9n this era of accelerated global interaction, transnational organized crime and
international terrorism are flourishing. The world has opened up, the borders have faded or are no
longer as well guarded, the market is globalized, financial and commercial mergers and the
deregulation of state intervention provide new opportunities, communication technology is presenting
unanticipated new technological possibilities and large!scale migration across the globe has created
new emigrant and refugee communities that can serve as recruitment bases and as hiding places
Synergy ! ;oth have a common enemy, the state in general and its law enforcement agencies
in particular. ;oth types of criminals operate in secrecy, in the underworld, and they use the same or
similar infrastructures for their activities and the same networks of corruption and white!collar crime.
;oth use the same type of tactics< they engage in cross!border smuggling, money laundering,
counterfeiting, kidnapping, extortion and various kinds of violence. They cross paths, they help or
submit to one another which makes them dependent on each other. Organized crime conglomerates
need a clientele and couriers who can smuggle drugs, arms and human beings across the countries
and regions.
The en& of the Co%& ar, the existence of weak and even failed states, the rise of new
surrogate or shadow states = these are only a few of the political changes that offer new opportunities
for underworld organizations. The end of the *old )ar meant in many cases an end to the sponsoring
of terrorist organizations by states from some actors in the two power blocks. ome organizations had
no choice but to look for new sources of funding, which, in many cases, meant either engaging in
organized crime activities themselves or in extorting money from criminal organizations and
legitimate business via >revolutionary taxation$
)eak states characterized by limited state control easily fall prey to organized crime ! icily and
*olombia are the standard examples ! but they can also be targeted by terrorists. 3ailed states in
4frica ,ierra 6eone, omalia, 6iberia/ or 4sia ,4fghanistan/ made it possible for organized crime to
work with national kleptocrats or local warlords who plundered their countries? diamonds, gold,
tropical timber, exotic species of animals, etc. The distinction between terrorism and organized crime
becomes obscured when warlords utilize terrorist methods as well.
Ho' can the pheno#enon of terroris# beco#ing organi(e& cri#e an& vice versa be e)p%aine&$
&. 9n organized crime and terrorist movements, the leaders are frequently very prominent, in fact
the groups are often named after their leader. )hat happens if the leader dies or goes to prison@ 9s it
conceivable that the terrorist organization degenerates into a gang of robbers@ This seems to have
been the case with the group headed by the +zbek rebel leader Auma 'amangani who is assumed to
have perished in #%%&, after which his gang went on randomly kidnapping for ransom.
#. )hat happens after insurgent terrorists lose the "ustification for their existence because the
authorities have settled the political issue they focused on@ They might have become so accustomed
to a certain life style that they can not give it up. 7erhaps they have taken too much of a liking to
exerting the kind of violence that is typical of terrorism. This appears to be one of the greatest
obstacles facing *olombian presidents seeking a peaceful solution to the problem of terrorism. 5ebel
armies like the 345* and the B6' have built a life for themselves based on protection taxes from
drug lords and kidnapping for ransom. ome sections of them may even have developed into drug
trafficking organizations themselves.
-. )hat happens to a :afia family in dire straits because of the authorities? success in
combating organized crime@ Crug king 7ablo Bscobar had no qualms murdering politicians, "udges,
policemen and even "ournalists or intimidating them with techniques from the terrorists? repertoire.
The 9talian mafia has also tried to intimidate the authorities and keep anti!mafia legislation from
being passed by exploding car bombs at public buildings like the 8aleria degli +ffizi in 3lorence.
ome crime theorists suggest that creating a general state of fear of terrorism promotes the
advancement of organized crime. 7lausible = but is this really true@
D. There is also the possibility of widespread degeneration in the event of a lengthy armed
conflict. 4 civil war 0may create a generation whose only skills, at what should be their peak
productive years, are military; they therefore turn easily to criminal activity for survival even after
the conflict winds down1 ,'aylor #%%#< $#/. 9f this is true, the future looks bleak for countries such
as 6iberia and ierra 6eone since so many children have become accustomed to soldiering and
looting.
In&ia
In 9ndia?s northeast, almost all the militant groups run a parallel government or have their areas of
influence and are involved in collecting money directly from the people. :uch of the government
funds reach the militants indirectly due to misgovernance. 8overnment officials in conflict zones are
either threatened or bribed to award contracts to individuals patronized by the militant groups.
*ontracts apart, essential commodities like rice and kerosene reach the militant groups directly which
are then sold to the public at much higher prices. This cycle, though unnoticed in other parts of 9ndia,
is a clear example of the linkage between organized crime and terrorism inside 9ndia.

Extortion, kidnap, contracts and black marketing still fall short of financing the nefarious activities of
the militants. This is where transnational drugs and arms syndicates come into play. Terrorist
organizations in 9ndia, especially in the northeast, mobilize funds by becoming couriers of illegal
drugs and arms and at times even human beings from one point to another within the country. ome
of the infamous entry points from outheast 4sia include :oreh and the entire *hittagong Eill tracts,
especially *ox?s ;azaar. 9nitially, international criminal syndicates had their own network; however,
with these routes being taken over by various terrorist groups in the northeastern states, the
syndicates started using these groups instead of bribing them to let their consignments get through.

In Fashmir, the linkages between terrorists and organized crime exist at a different level. +nlike the
northeast, reliance on funds from extortion and other related means is minimal. There is no parallel
government in Fashmir and government resources do not reach militant hands. Eowever, external
funds compensate for inadequate internal mobilization. Bxternal funds reach the militant
organizations fighting in Fashmir thorough various means. 3or instance, enormous funds that are
mobilized in 7akistan and other :uslim countries, especially in the 8ulf, are channeled through
various organizations in 7akistan to Fashmir. %ar"az daa al Arshad, for example, mobilizes funds
from inside and outside 7akistan, to support its militant wing, &ash"ar'e'Toiba. ;esides, external
funds are also routed through select organizations and individuals in Fashmir, which finally reach the
militants. :oney laundering plays a significant role. #aala ,money laundering/ transactions take
place swiftly and effectively in Fashmir. ;esides, it is also believed that the 99 uses drug money to
fund militant activities in Fashmir.

Another significant relationship between organized crime and terrorism, especially in Fashmir, is
through the spread of counterfeit currency. Terrorists are the main couriers of 9ndian counterfeit
currency inside Fashmir, which then spreads all over 9ndia. Bven guides for the militants from across
the border are paid with counterfeit money. 9n fact, when some of the >indigenous? militants were also
paid with counterfeits, it resulted in squabble between them and the so!called guest militants.

*esides Fashmir and the northeast, sporadic incidents in other parts of 9ndia like the ;ombay blasts,
for instance, have exposed the connection between terrorism and organized crime. This is distinct
from the traditional linkages flourishing between organized crime syndicates and local criminals.