IDENTIFYING POINTS OF INTERACTION BETWEEN TERRORISM AND ORGANIZED CRIME

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327.28:343.9.02]:303.1 Scientific article
IDENTIFYING POINTS OF INTERACTION BETWEEN TERRORISM
AND ORGANIZED CRIME
ИДЕНТИФИКУВАЧКИ ОБЕЛЕЖЈА НА ИНТЕРАКЦИЈАТА ПОМЕЃУ
ТЕРОРИЗМОТ И ОРГАНИЗИРАНИОТ КРИМИНАЛ
MA Tanja Milosevska
Faculty of Philosophy-Institute of Security, Defence and Peace.
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ABSTRACT: This article explores the nature of links and identifies the interface between terrorism and organized crime. Researching models discover major relationships that exist between the terrorist and criminal worlds, from strategic cooperation and alliance formations to the complete convergence of motivations. As a result, both criminal and terrorism groups operating in the world today, increasingly exhibit a similar structure, and are often simultaneously engaged in related criminal and political activities. Understanding nexus provide an explanation of the varying dynamics of the post-Cold War security environments as it relates to organized crime and terrorism.
The purpose of this paper is to identify points of interaction between terrorism and organized crime and also to explain the contemporary security threats of terrorism and
organized crime.
The paper set out a way to explain the changing nature of security-specifically the threats of terrorism, organized crime and their convergence as non-traditional challenges that confronts humankind in the 21st century.
Key words: security threats, terrorism, organized crime, points of interaction, nontraditional challenges.

АПСТРАКТ: Овој труд ја истражува природата на врските и идентификува интерфејс помеѓу тероризмот и организираниот криминал. Истражувачките модели ги
откриваат главните односи што постојат помеѓу терористичкиот и криминалниот свет, од стратегиска соработка и создавање алијанси до комплетна конвергенција на мотивации. Како резултат на тоа, криминалните и терористичките групи кои денес дејствуваат во светот, забрзано покажуваат слична структура, и често се истовремено вклучени во поврзани криминални и политички активности. Разбирањето на поврзаноста обезбедува објаснување на различните динамики во пост-студеното безбедносно опкружување кое се однесува на организираниот криминал и тероризам.
Цел на овој труд е идентификација на обележјата на интеракција помеѓу тероризмот и организираниот криминал и исто така дава објаснување на современите безбедносни закани од тероризмот и организираниот криминал. Овој труд го изложува начинот да се објасни променливата природа на безбедноста - посебно заканите од тероризам, организиран криминал и нивна конвергенција како нетрадиционални предизвици со кои се соочува човештвото во 21 век.

Клучни зборови: безбедносни закани, тероризам, организиран криминал, обележја на интеракција, нетрадиционални закани.


INTRODUCTION
The world of the twenty-first century is one in which transnational non-state actors such as criminal organizations and terrorist networks pose new threats to security. This
paper shows that both transnational criminal organizations and global terrorist organizations are very rational in their behaviour and place great reliance on network structures. This article focuses not only on analyzing great changes of structure and dynamics of terrorism and organized crime, but also on examining how terrorism and organized crime intersect and converge that now become a national security threat. In particular, this analysis comments on reasons and opportunities that led the transnational terrorists undertaking the organized crime so as to raise revenue and the financial support.
The article also examines numerous factors that enable terrorists and newer organized crime organizations to partner with each other in tactic and strategic ways.
The following sections explore the underlying rationale for criminal and terrorist group partnerships as well as the conditions that may facilitate the evolution or transformation of a criminal or terrorist group into the other.

RECONCEPTUALISING OF TERRORISM AND ORGANIZED CRIME AS SECURITY THREATS

Neither organized crime nor terrorism is new. Links between terrorism and ordinary crime groups have been documented already in the 19th century with alliances between revolutionary-political movements and underworlds. Alliances can then be observed in the 20th century in the new terrorist movements in Germany as well as in North America. Recent years saw a growing interest in exploring the relationships between terrorist movements and organized crime, in particular on the basis of network approaches. Italy, Japan, China, and the United States are all countries in which organized crime flourished for much of the twentieth century.


 

Similarly, terrorism has long been a weapon of the weak against the strong and has been employed by anarchists, nationalists, anti-colonialists, and by political and religious extremists. During the Cold War, the problems of transnational organized crime and terrorism were relatively insignificant, and often considered separate phenomena. However, tremendous changes in the international environment at the end of the Cold War, and subsequently as a result of the loss of their main donor—the disintegration of the Soviet Union—created conditions that challenged the financing system of terrorism.
Current descriptions of financing terrorist movements point to the important role illicit markets play for generating terrorist funds, in particular drug markets (Shelley, 2002:305-318). However, the range of activities that can provide for terrorist funds is wide.
The involvement of terrorist groups in bank robberies, extortion and blackmailing, kidnapping for ransom, drug trafficking and credit card fraud demonstrate that it is also
conventional property crimes that serve to raise terrorist funds. The existence of substantial funds and illicit economic opportunities may then provide for an important condition for the survival of terrorist organizations beyond the cessation of terrorist activities if such organizations choose to continue to exploit illicit economic opportunities. Finally, economic motives may serve as a trigger for changing terrorist groups into criminal organizations active solely for financial gains.
If states or a Diaspora willing to finance insurgencies are not available then violent groups are dependent on acquisitioned crime activities. Participating in economic activities makes sense only in those areas where violent groups have a competitive advantage. The competitive advantage of violent/terrorist groups lies in their ability effectively to exert violence or to exploit a reputation of effective violence.
Links between organized crime and terrorist groups may also be established through the need for services that can be provided by organized crime groups or terrorist groups. Terrorist groups may be dependent on particular services or commodities available only through certain crime groups (for example money laundering or arms). Organized crime groups may be dependent on the protection that can be delivered by terrorist groups. It has been argued then that criminal groups and gangs may transform themselves into groups with a political agenda through politicization, internationalization and growing sophistication (in terms of organization and technology) (Sullivan, 2001:99-126). Both organized crime and major forms of terrorism operate today through networks (and not through hierarchical organizations with physical infrastructures and large investments).
Convergence between organized crime and terrorist groups has been claimed to be furthered by networks and networking with the peripheries of networks serving as


 

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.


 

suggest an increase in geographic overlap of operations where criminals and terrorists could interact. These trends may also suggest an increase in the opportunity for
transformation from one type of group to the other.

IDENTIFYING POINTS OF INTERACTION
The connection between crime and terrorism is identified and measured along two lines of interaction: the first is focused on crime and terrorism as concepts defined within specific definitional parameters; whereas the second concentrates on crime and terrorism as distinctly identifiable non-state actors which challenge security on all levels of analysis through their actions. Although these two lines of interaction can be separated to ease enquiry and provide explanatory clarity, the relationship between crime and terrorism exists along a dynamic continuum which plots the organizational and operational interaction between both phenomena. Thus crime and terrorism as concept and entities cross-over on several analytical planes: first, through the creation of alliances between distinct entities;
second, through the operational use of terror tactics by a criminal group or criminal tactics by a terrorist group; and third, through the convergence of criminal and terrorist tactics within a single group, thus creating a hybrid entity. The notion that crime and terrorism exist along a continuum is used to illustrate the fact that, in addition to situations of cooperation between a criminal and terrorist group, a single group can slide across a definitional scale between what is traditionally referred to as organized crime and terrorism depending on the environment in which it operates (Makarenko, 2004).

Key nodes, where interaction is most likely, include prisons; cyberspace, particularly online opportunities for social networking; and ungoverned or difficult-to-govern spaces, which include regions plagued by endemic corruption, conflict or post-conflict zones where legitimate governance has yet to take root, border regions, free trade zones, and urban mega cities where pockets of poverty, violence, criminality, and impunity from national law prevails. Overlap may also be facilitated by the involvement of hostile governments and


 

kleptocratic or criminal states that may consider sponsorship or support of criminal or terrorist activity of strategic value.
The nature of a relationship between a criminal and terrorist group varies in terms of longevity and depth. They range between the ad hoc (i.e. one point in time) to longerterm strategic alliances; and, are formed for a variety of reasons such as seeking expert knowledge (i.e. money-laundering, counterfeiting, or bomb-making) and/or operational support (i.e. access to smuggling routes and safe havens). In theory cooperation potentially provides significant benefits for both parties involved, including everything from access to previously unobtainable know-how and materials, to the destabilization of political structures (i.e. through corruption and violence) and international counter-terrorism or anticrime policies through the undermining of trust between state actors. Regardless of the country which hosts a crime-terror connection, mapping the associated dynamics and resultant implications of such interaction often reveals a network that extends from an international to community context. Thus in a policy context, the existence of any crimeterror connection merely highlights the fact that law enforcement, homeland security and national security are intrinsically linked together.

FACTORS WHICH IDENTIFY CRIME-TERROR INTERACTION
Factors which encouraging ‘links’/cross-over/cooperation from the point of view of organized crime group are following:
• Drug traffickers benefit from terrorists’ military skills and obtain protection for illicit drug cultivation or trafficking in areas under guerrilla/terrorist control.
• Terrorist destabilization of political and economic structures may create favourable environment for organized crime activities.
• Law enforcement preoccupation with countering terrorism may divert attention from organized crime activities.
• Political-terrorist label provides extra degree of ‘intimidation’ (Naylor, 2002:56). 
Yet again, there are also a few, but decisive, arguments which speak against close links: 
• Terrorist group may extort drug-trafficking organizations;
• Terrorist group might take over ‘businesses from organized crime group.
Three major factors condition close interactions between terrorists and other criminals. A strongly disposing condition is the existence of trans-state nationalist, ethnic, and religious movements. Their trans-border identity networks – based on shared values and mutual trust – provide settings conductive to collaboration between terrorists and
criminals. A second condition is the occurrence of armed trans-border conflict. Armed conflicts spawn criminal groups and provide incentives and opportunities for


 

interdependence between the political and the criminal. Third is the interaction of market opportunities and constraints. Drawing on criminology and organization theory we look at criminal enterprise as a ‘profit-driven illegal collective behaviour’, shaped by the interaction of the criminal market’s opportunities and constraints, and performed by fluid criminal networks (Klerks, 2003:100-102). Constraints encourage political-criminal ‘marriages of convenience’. Cooperative relations reduce constraints on criminal markets. Terrorists and criminals establish alliances to remove obstacles and expand the possibilities of both power-and profit seeking. Alternatively, factors that discourage cooperation are market opportunities available to terrorists. They present contemporary terrorists with the need increasingly to think as businessmen to whom profits will be available if they are pragmatic but lost if they remain doctrinaire.
Table 1. Illustrate this theoretical argument. It presents criminal enterprise as collective action and identifies the factors conditioning the interaction between terrorists and criminal networks. It also characterizes the motivations driving criminal enterprise and terrorist activities. More specifically, terrorists’ motivations for undertaking illicit business activities vary. They may reflect ideological objectives. This was the case with the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), whose militants and sympathizers engaged in illicit business activities aiming primarily at funding their political program. Not least, militants can be simultaneously terrorists and criminals, as is the case with some ethnic Albanian factions.
This is a pattern of opportunistic interdependence, one that we have analysed as a politicalcriminal hybrid. Our study of the Albanian political criminal syndicates in the 1990s showed how the interaction of trans-border identity networks, ongoing armed conflict and illegal market opportunities gave birth to criminalized terrorist organizations.


 

Criminal and terrorist networks which have emerged from a state of perpetual conflict and instability blatantly reveal the ultimate danger of the crime-terror connection
to international security. Operating within de facto ‘safe havens’ for illicit operations, weak and failed states foster nefarious collaboration, which subsequently seeks to perpetuate a condition of civil (or regional) war to secure economic and political power. In most of these situations conflict/war has provided “legitimating for various criminal forms of private aggrandizement while at the same time these are necessary sources of revenue in order to sustain the war. The warring parties need more or less permanent conflict both to reproduce their positions of power and for access to resources” (Kaldor, 1999:110).
Some newer transnational crime groups, often originating in ungovernable regions, are now establishing their links with terrorist groups; because the criminal groups do not posses long-term and efficient financial strategies and they want neither stability nor strong states that can control them. Another significant reason is that new transnational groups likely take advantages of the chaos of war and dysfunctional state functions and generate huge profits from cooperating with terrorists. Consequently, the new types of transnational crime groups share consistent interests with terrorist and they gradually form terrorist-transnational crime relationship. As Louise Shelley argues that “the terroristtransnational crime relationship extends beyond a marriage of convenience that generates profits or provides logistics: it goes to the very heart of the relationship between crime groups and the state” (Shelley, 2005:105).
Meanwhile, terrorist groups tend to transform into criminal organizations who are interested in generating revenue in order to achieve political objectives. The situation would change only if these traditional groups were serious crippled and compelled to combine with terrorists for combating their common enemies—the state authorities. On the other hand, the alliances of transnational criminal organizations (especially for new crime groups) and terrorist groups indeed exist and constantly occur depending on their consistent interests.


 

Phil Williams has taken this analysis further. Although he does not entirely disagree with Makarenko, he believes that the categories needed to be further disaggregated. In his proposition he differentiates between the essence of organizations, the activities that are coherent with such an essence, and the instrumental use of peripheral activities. In that sense, as it can be observed in figure 2, he separates criminal organizations and terrorist organizations drawing distinctions between organized crime as a method, as an entity, and terrorism as method and as entity. For criminal entities it is natural to use criminal methods, as for terrorist entities it is normal to use terrorist
methods. But other dynamics also emerge: cooperation between entities of different type, the appropriation of criminal activities by terrorist entities and of terrorist activities by criminal entities, of which the latter is more common to be found.
But a more important contribution is Williams’ idea of transformation. He believes that a process in which a terrorist entity becomes a criminal enterprise, and vice versa, is possible. As shown in the figure, this could happen in a direct form or through the creation of a hybrid organization. In the latter, the political and criminal dimensions are blended making it impossible to refer to the group entirely as a political or a criminal actor. But more importantly, Williams believes that although cooperation between
terrorists/insurgents and criminal groups is not insignificant, transformation is more likely than the establishment of alliances (Williams, 2008:129-145).

This idea is shared by Christopher Dishman who argues that terrorist groups can be transformed into transnational criminal organizations when they become interested in
profits, even when a political motivation exists. He is resistant to the idea of cooperation between different types of organizations (i.e. terrorists/criminals) due to the contrasting aims and motivations they display (Dishman, 2001:47-50).


 

POINTS OF CONVERGENCE: ORGANIZATIONAL, OPERATIONAL AND TACTICAL
Transnational linkages between criminals and terrorists have occurred on some level for centuries, but have evolved during the past several decades because of the increasing international law enforcement pressure. The worldwide anti-terror campaign and an extremely broad approach of repressing terrorist funding make cooperation become a rational choice for both organized criminal groups and terrorists. Moreover, the crime-terror nexus could also take advantage of the communication technology and advanced equipment to minimize their risk getting caught.
There is, however, growing recognition that the intersection between organized crime and terror organizations is deepening and becoming more complex. The intersection of crime and terrorism raises three important issues that have bearing on considerations of counterfeiting: First, to what extent do terrorist organizations have an “in-house” criminal capacity? In the words of one observer, “Some of the most serious terrorism cases detected have not involved organized crime groups at all—the terrorists have acted alone using methods of organized crime” (Williams, 2005).
Second, to what extent have criminal and terrorist organizations allied with each other in either parasitical or symbiotic ways? And third, to what extent have terrorists
benefited indirectly from the proceeds of organized criminal activity? A list of terrorist organizations with reputed in-house and/or sizable criminal operations or capabilities might include Hezbollah, FARC, Egyptian Islamic Jihad, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), the PKK, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), the Provisional IRA, and the LTTE. These organizations engage in criminal enterprises across international borders, within their home countries, within Diaspora communities (especially in North America), and in their areas of operation.
There is also growing evidence of cooperation between terrorist organizations and organized crime, which again is most notable for the insurgent groups—Peru’s Shining Path, FARC, M19 in Colombia, the LTTE, and the Palestinian Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine–General Command (PFLP-GC) are reported to have provided security for narcotics cartels in their respective countries or regions (Gorka, 2000).
In the Balkans and Central Asia, as well as Colombia, Myanmar, and Afghanistan, markets dominated by organized crime require terrorist organizations desiring entry to
forge alliances. Moreover, terrorists and criminals both operate “outside the law,” and they often use the same methods, such as false identification and shipping documents and counter surveillance techniques (Sanderson, 2004).
Since the two groups are interested in two different objectives, it seems reasonable to assume that similar to any other normal activity they will be tempted to get involved


 

with both. Specifically, we can broadly define the areas of collaboration and transformation between terrorist groups and organized crimes as follows:
1) A terrorist group engages in non - political criminal activities, such as bank robbery, gun running, human trafficking, drug dealing, etc. to sustain its political goals.
2) A terrorist group episodically collaborates with organized crime groups to purchase or transport weapons (including weapons of mass destruction) and/or operatives.
3) A terrorist group collaborates on a sustained basis with an organized crime gang(s) to engage in criminal activities to raise money to carry out its political agenda.
4) A criminal group collaborates on a sustained basis with terrorist groups to engage in acts of political violence and terrorism. In other words, criminal groups metamorphose into political groups.
In recent times, terrorism and organized crime also have organizational and functional similarities. Both have assumed networked structures resembling modern business enterprises organized into small cells without a central command. This has enabled them to become more amorphous and discreet. Both groups exploit modern technologies (computing, telecommunications, and the Internet) to plan and coordinate their activities from around the world. Both often use similar methods (underground financial networks, human couriers) to make, move, and launder money. Their support and recruitment bases now overlap. For example, the Chechen Diaspora in Russia, which had been the backbone of the Chechen criminal network, turned to terrorism by providing support to carry out attacks in Moscow. Ethnic Albanians in Europe running prostitution and drug rings had links with the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) (Shanty, 2008:363-371).
The linkages between organized criminal groups and terrorists have occurred in a combination of ways, both tactical and strategic. A tactical relationship means one-spot or short timeframe cooperation without any complementary enduring goals. In contrast, strategic alliances between organized crime groups and terrorists base on their consistent interests and aim to achieve mutual expectations of long-term goals.

TACTICAL ALLIANCES

In much the same way, different aims and motivations of political and criminal groups lead organized crime groups and terrorists more likely to cooperate on a short-term
basis. Most of the evidence of linkages between the two entities could prove that cooperation tend to be one-spot alliance or functional cooperation within shorter time.


 

Whether criminal organizations seek cooperation with terrorists or terror groups form alliances with criminal organizations, these linkages are based on a variety of reasons.
Alliances are established in order to share “expert knowledge” (i.e. bomb-designing, money laundering, communication technologies) or “operational support” (i.e. access to trafficking routes) (Makarenko, 2004:131). Terrorists groups are just getting access to criminal activities and develop their own revenue through contacting with organized criminal organizations. While, cooperating with terrorists could help organized crime groups gain significant profits through the prolongation of conflict, corruption and undermining law enforcement (Shelley, 1999). But their alliances turn out to be superficial and short-time because both of them try to keep their groups secret.

STRATEGIC ALLIANCES
Since transnational criminal organizations and terror groups gain significant benefits (i.e. profit maximizing and risk reduction) from their one-spot cooperation, it is increasingly difficult to prevent them from alliances in strategic way. Sustaining cooperation between organized crime and terrorists seems to be a possible thing because they are running in the same circles— they already operate out of the law and they often create and take advantages of the same surrounding (i.e. little governmental control, open borders, chaos of national boundary and dysfunction of law enforcement) as well as they usually need the same resources, including “false identification, shipping documents, operators, transportation networks, and counter-surveillance techniques” (Sanderson, 2004:53).
Moreover, the increasing tension of counter crime-terror policy is another growing problem for both organizations, strategic alliances make them possible combine together to combat their common enemy—the state authorities. In most cases, it is clearly that some of the alliance between criminal and political crime groups can be regarded as a rational way of risk reduction. Organized crime groups and terrorists often operate based on their networks, organized crime groups can seek protection from terror groups in order to guarantee their criminal profits, and terrorists can hide themselves through cooperating with organized crime groups. Furthermore, organized crime groups and terrorist usually share the similar money laundering measures and financing ways.

CONVERGENCE
Since the end of the Cold War, the increasing rise of transnational organized crime organizations and the changing nature of terrorist groups are creating new opportunities to resist their common enemies through collaboration. According to Tamara Makarenko and Chris Dishman, the final point of the crime-terror continuum is convergence. The


 

convergence of crime-terror nexus means these two groups arrive at one situation in which organized crime groups and terrorists gradually become the same or very similar organizations with a convergence of views or beliefs. Thus, as Makarenko presents that:
“The criminal and terrorist organizations could converge into a single entity that initially displays characteristics of both groups simultaneously; but has potential to transform itself into an entity situated at the opposite end of the continuum from which it began.
Transformation thus occurs to such as degree that the ultimate aims and motivations of the organization have actually changed” (Makarenko, 2004:135).
Cooperation between these two groups in a tactical way has occurred frequently based their contemporary consistent interests, but strategic alliances have occasionally
happened based on their long-time common goals. While different aims and ideological beliefs of these two entities are obvious and conflicts between them do exist, these realities make the two entities extremely difficult to maintain long-time cooperation or combine into one single entity. However, the criminal or terrorist group would transform itself into one entity with features of both groups. It seems that state authorities could not judge organized criminal group and terrorist by their cover (Dishman, 2001:43-58). Criminal groups may display political motivations, they would adopt terror tactics to obtain political leverage or initially use terrorism to control natural resources and financial institutions, and subsequently they would gain political power over the state. On the other hand, terrorist groups may increasingly focus their attention on criminal activities that they merely maintain a public façade, but underneath, they have transformed into another kind of groups with different end game.
The cultural, ideological, political, operational and practical differences between these criminal and political groups are obvious, thus it can be argued that these two groups
are more likely to engage in self-transformation rather form alliances with other groups.
Moreover, the tactic and strategic alliances between organized crime and terrorist organizations have frequently occurred depending on the changeable situation. It is inherently difficult for these two groups to maintain their harmonious relationship for a long time because of their separate aims and motivations. Furthermore, the cooperation between criminal and political groups remains in the tactical or strategic phase, there is not enough evidence to test and verify that these two groups have converged into one single entity displaying natures and characteristics of both groups at the same time. Makarenko points out that the nexus between organized crime and terrorism has occurred and developed because of their “common convergence of causes”. (Makarenko, 2004: 129-145).
Shelley also maintains that the regions in which transnational crime groups and terrorists interlink, particularly in a state of chaos and on-going conflict as well as regions with the


 

largest shadow economies have provided a safe haven for the nurturing of the crime-terror nexus (Shelley, 2005: 101-111). Moreover, Ridlay offers that the linkages are related to certain states, either in economic transition or failing states, because the criminal activities and the intersection of both groups are least risky in these regions (Ridley, 2008). Transnational criminal organizations are similarly affected by changing circumstances, which has developed into influential hybrid criminal/terror entities with “inhouse” capabilities of engaging in terrorism actions in order to get maximum illegal profit.
In reality, transnational criminal groups and terrorist groups share many operational and organizational similarities and attributes. They regularly learn from one another and reproduce each other’s successes and failures and often associate with one another in their organizational structure and practical operation so as to keep one-step ahead of law enforcement. The nexus between transnational organized crime and terrorism is increasingly multifaceted and sophisticated, which is directly challenging the security of states at a national and international level.

CONCLUSION

There is no definite conclusion that how organized crime and terrorism intersect and converge. More recently formed crime actors thriving in uncontrollable regions and ongoing conflict have a very diverse approach to the terrorists. The newer groups do not have long-established financial strategies or long-time ideological beliefs, thus they would seek to collaborate with terrorist groups for short-time endurance. The alliances among criminal and political groups in a combination of ways, both tactical and strategic, would always depend on their specific purposes and the particular changing surroundings.
The understanding that economic and political power enhance one-another, imply that more and more groups will become hybrid organizations by nature. This is enhanced by the reality that criminal and terrorist groups emerge to be learning from one another, and adapting to each other’s achievements and breakdowns. Researching models between organized crime and terrorism more specifically seeks to provide an rationalization of the varying dynamics of this environment as it relates to organized crime and terrorism. In doing so, its primary purpose is to highlight that security threats are not static phenomena, but are continually in a state of flux. It is therefore obvious that the nature of organized crime and terrorism, including their convergence, are dictated by the constantly evolving environment in which they are found, and by the connections in which they are engaged.
Furthermore, the paper illustrates that security is no longer solely about the military objectives of state actors, but has been joined by economically driven interests. The mixture of political and economic motivations and a group practiced to attain them through the


exploit of terror tactics reveals the innate dangers of the crime-terrorist convergence as a contemporary security threats.
The crime-terror nexus is becoming increasingly intensive and requires efficient responses. In this case, it seems that a state cannot judge illegitimate transnational organizations by cover, and thus seek to formulate successful reactions through employing the significant overlapping strategies and policies between counter-terrorist and anti-crime.
Counter-terrorism strategy cannot deal with the 21st century’s problems by applying methods, strategies, principles and tactics embedded in the last century. Thereby, it may be argued that having a comprehensively understanding of the crime-terror nexus is the first step toward problem solving.

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