Call for papers vol 9, no. 1, 2018 is open until 30 March 2018

IDENTIFYING POINTS OF INTERACTION BETWEEN TERRORISM AND ORGANIZED CRIME

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facilitators of cooperation and interactions. Through the peripheries of criminal and terrorist networks contacts are facilitated and common interests identified.
Terrorist and transnational criminal groups have long shared similar characteristics and borrowed tactics and techniques commonly ascribed to the other. Historical examples also indicate that such groups may drift, evolve, converge, transform, or otherwise alter their ideological motivations and organizational composition to appear to mimic each other. In general, there appears to be at least three primary ways in which crime and terrorism may overlap:
(1) Through shared tactics and methods,
(2) Through the process of transformation from one type of group to the other over time, and
(3) Through short-term or long-term transaction-based service-for-hire activities between groups (Mullins, 2009).
In recent years, some analysts have identified a series of potentially disturbing trends that has hastened the expansion of relationships between terrorist and transnational
crime groups. First, criminal syndicates appear to be growing in size, scope, and ambition. Globalization has extended their transnational reach while major developments in technology, trade, and the financial industry have provided them with opportunities to exploit vulnerabilities in emerging criminal sectors, such as cybercrime, credit card fraud, and trade-based money laundering. The reason that criminal and terrorist organizations have been able to exploit these new resources and opportunities so effectively is that they are highly rational in their behaviour. Criminal groups have also adapted their structure and composition to a globalized future. Many now maintain a transnational footprint and a flexible and networked membership roster that can adapt more readily to new market niches and establish more fluid short-term alliances with external individuals and groups.
Second, the nature and activities of terrorist organizations appear to have also changed. Terrorist groups today are motivated more by a religious rather than a nationalist
or ethnic separatist imperative that was predominant in the 1960s and 1970s, resulting in extremist movements that can elicit sympathy well beyond a specific country or geographic region. Further, terrorist groups appear to have become more resilient to financial destruction, due to a combination of continued state sponsorship or support and entrepreneurial expansion into profitable criminal activities.11 Combined, these trends may



11 For further discussion on the expansion of organized crime as a threat, see National Intelligence Council, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Global Trends 2025: a Transformed World, November 2008.



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Security Dialogues by Toni Mileski is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at sd.fzf.ukim.edu.mk.

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