The Criminal-Terror Nexus, exploring connections between Terrorism and Organized Crime

Small Crowded World

In recent decades, the connections and similarities between terrorism and organized crime have increasingly grown.  Long time terrorist groups like the FARC in Colombia or the PKK in Turkish Kurdistan have been dedicating more and more time and resources to running the criminal side of their organizations and organized criminal groups have been relying increasingly on terrorist style attacks like beheadings and even large scale bombings.  Convergence is also happening as part of something called the criminal-terror nexus where criminal groups are collaborating with terrorist groups for things like criminals selling weapons or forged passports to terrorists, or terrorists protecting and taxing criminal’s drug routes.  One aspect that has long been viewed as the major difference is that terrorists employed violence for strictly ideological ends and that organized crime groups used violence as a way to earn profits.

The divide between criminal and terrorist motives seems stark, but there has…

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