Terrorism as a Transnational Organized Crime
Terrorism and organized crime have always been considered to stand among the primary security threats in any society. The possibility of their integration raises much concern, as its negative consequences can hardly be underestimated. It is evident today that the cooperation of terrorists and criminal groups is likely to have a powerful impact over the current world structure.
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To begin with, it must be noted that terrorism is a highly specific type of crime. Its peculiarity is foremost determined by the aims terrorism pursues. Whereas the prime objective of any crime syndicate is deriving the highest possible profit, terrorists are initially interested in provoking political and social unrest. It follows thence that the methods they select are aimed at drawing the maximum of social attention. Crime elements are, on the contrary, concerned about staying out of the world community’s view. Therefore, despite the fact that both structures are engaged in illegal enterprise, the character of their activity is to be clearly distinguished.
Nevertheless, regardless of some considerable differences in goals and techniques, the fact that terrorists and crime syndicates have common interests is undoubted. Among them are, first of all, week authorities, that would, on the one hand, close their eyes on the criminal activities and, on the other hand, would be unable to confront any terror campaign. Therefore, every action aimed at enfeebling governmental powers is beneficial for both these parties. Another interest that terrorists and criminal organizations willingly share is drug trafficking – close cooperation in this field helps the two structures obtain incredible profit with the minor risks. This area, according to some experts’ opinion, is currently the only evident example of collaboration between terrorists and transnational organized crime.
Basing on the fact, that mutually beneficial cooperation is practicable, the question arises whether there is any possibility of terrorists’ attempts to use transnational organized crime for launching acts of terror. First of all, one should admit that crime groups are not interested in being directly involved in any resounding event. Unwillingness attract the attention to its activity, along with the fear to jeopardize the strong links with governmental authorities would never let them take part in any terrorist attack overtly. However, there is still a high probability of their collateral participation. It would be reasonable to suppose that criminal syndicates will readily offer their infrastructures, both transport and information ones, as long as they are offered a satisfactory fee. This kind of cooperation is rather menacing, as the transference of important infrastructures to terrorists gravely enhances their abilities. Another way of crime organizations’ contribution to launching terroristic attacks is their financial support. Although this method seems to be less conceivable than the mentioned above, such kind of collaboration is still likely to exist, on condition that the criminal structures are interested in exploding the government reputation in order to strengthen their credibility in a particular area. At the same time there is an opinion that terrorists can interpret receiving financial assistance from organized crime groups as a factor contradicting with their ideological principals.
In conclusion, it has to be acknowledged that cooperation between terrorists and transnational organized crime is a fact of reality. In spite of certain divergences in aims and methods, these structures still find lots of fields for mutually beneficial collaboration and launching terrorist attacks is, unfortunately, one of them.