Last Updated 31 Mar 2020

Similarities Between Terrorism and Organized Crime:

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Similarities between terrorism and organized crime: Today’s terrorism and organized crime groups are so similar that their differences are starting to blur and the commonalities are becoming clearer. Terrorism and organized crime is a perfect match, that may have different objectives, but they can accomplish their goals through one another. The underground network, tactics they share and utilize to accomplish a task in support of one another, recruiting methods, financial institutions, and the effects of globalization and technology are the main similarities.

In today’s world one does not survive without the other. Dictionary. com defines terrorism as, “The use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes; the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization; and a terroristic method of governing or of resisting a government. ” Terrorism has been around since the 1st Century AD. Many civilizations have used terrorists tactics on a weakened state or a state they which to overthrow. One of the first uses of modern terrorism was Maxmilien Robespierre.

After the French Revolution, Robespierre was a dictator that used terrorism to remain in control. He stated that, “Subdue by terror the enemies of liberty, and you will be right, as founders of the Republic. ” In the late 1960s, International Terrorism took the world over with hijacking. Of recent most terrorism is based on an ideology and religion. The ideology of the different terrorists groups may differ from religion, politics, animals, the planet, to many different reasons. However they use fear to accomplish a goal.

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Many different law enforcement organizations have different definitions of terrorism, but they all describe using terror/fear, usually against non-combatants, in order to further their cause. They are organized to ensure if one is caught or killed, the ideal can continue on and not be compromised. They protect the organization with cells and are given only pertinent and applicable information to each cell. Legaldictionary. com defines organized crime as, “A widespread group of professional criminals who rely on illegal activities as a way of live and whose activities are coordinated and controlled through some form of entralized syndicate. ” The traditional organized crime groups were developed in Sicily by individuals who wanted to control a community. These individuals were looking to become rich through corruption and fear. Organized crime moved to the United States during immigration and the repression of organized crime in Southern Europe during the early 1900s. Organized criminals sought in opportunity in the United States. Many immigrants came to America seeking the “American Dream”, but those dreams turned to nightmares. The easiest and fastest way to get the American Dream was through the “Mafia”.

The mafia sought two things and two things only, money and power. The mafia quickly grew in size; because like prison you either stuck with your kind or found yourself face down in the street. The mafia gave protection and supported your family. With a weakened state in the new United States economy, politicians and law enforcement were easily bought out. They organized themselves so that the Boss spoke and everyone listened; however unless you were a CPT or high ranking individual, you rarely ever heard it directly from the head honcho.

They protected the boss, by limited exposure and just in case the police wasn’t on their payroll they could never tie it to him. The families used mainly two different methods to control a community. They either used fear or kindness. Many communities protected organized crime families. They were the protection to the community and supported the community with jobs and money. The old adage goes, “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. ” However if you challenged them, you were usually met with a swift and gruesome punishment.

Examples were made not to challenge the family. Many times in the news it is hard to remember which organization is a terrorist’s organization and which is an organized crime. Their tactics are so similar and their ideology is becoming so indifferent. Terrorist will sometimes conduct attacks such as kidnapping, bank robberies, smuggling of contraband, and other illegal activities only for capital gain to further their cause. This is no different than organized crime to gain more money for power. Many times these activities find these two organizations in cohorts.

Underground networks have become the preferred method of any illegal organization. Organized criminals have street credentials that a normal criminal cannot gain due to its size, trust, and reliability. Organized criminals have spent centuries developing underground networks in order to traffic contraband throughout the world. “The FBI estimates that the underground economy produces $500 billion per year. An underground economy requires secret institutions, and terrorists have found various enterprises for hiding money,” (Terrorism & Homeland Security, 7th edition; Jonathan R. White; 2012).

Underground networks are not only used for smuggling money, drugs, or weapons, but people as well. The organized crime organizations are able to provide clean papers to terrorists in order for them to move from city to city undetected. These underground networks are used so widely now that if the terrorist organization were to crumble, the terrorists of the world would have to focus on their immediate area because they would have no way of moving people, weapons, or money. As part of the underground network both organizations are tied to one another through many capital gaining ventures.

In Afghanistan the drugs are used to sell to organized crime for distribution. The terrorists will grow, protect, and even traffic the drugs for a substantial amount. The money gained from organized crime is then funneled into their cause. Reports have also shown that Al-Qaeda is working with drug lords in Mexico, which help them, sneak into the United States. Who better then Mexican drug lords to help terrorists into the United States? One of the most profitable ventures in human smuggling is the human sex slave trade.

Terrorist’s organizations will capture women from foe tribes and other places and then they are sold to organized crimes using the underground network to sell them and smuggle them. Terrorists and organized crime are so similar in their tactics that at times it seems as if there is a school that both organizations send their recruits to. The first tactic is kindness to their community. The concept is to protect the community and hopefully in return you are shown loyalty. Provide money, jobs, and a safe haven to the locals and when law enforcement omes around no one is willing to talk to them. When this tactic doesn’t work they turn to fear. If anyone in the community speaks out against the organization or talks to law enforcement they are made an example of and most of the time the person is killed in the most gruesome manner to show the others that they should never talk to law enforcement. Both organizations use bombs, burning bodies, decapitation, killing of the whole family and friends, and torture. To be in an organization, the two main ways are to be either born into it or recruited.

Many times the family members or terrorists are born and raised into an organization. From toddler they are taught to hate a certain kind of person, hate a religion or government, and to want all the power and money in the world. Both organizations look to recruit people, because without recruiting the organizations could not survive. They look for easily controlled and people with little to no existence. The potential recruits are usually people that can easily conform to their way of life and standard, no family ties, and need something to believe in.

The organizations offer them something they have never had before such as; love, commitment, loyalty, something to believe in, and a purpose. In order to complete their tasks, it takes a lot of money. Both organizations launder their money through one another and legitimate and legal businesses. Three weeks ago, three used car dealerships were closed down and the owners were arrested for funneling money through the dealership for terrorists. The easiest thing to do with illegal money is to turn it right back around through a legal front. Through the underground network, both organizations have what is kind of like a line of credit.

It is very similar to wire transfer or they are given credit wherever they are. For example, when drugs are sold to a criminal organization in Afghanistan, the money may not be received right away or it may be received in another country. This type of financial institution takes years to build and trust. The ability to communicate and globalize has increased the effectiveness of the terrorists and the profit of the criminal organizations. Both organizations are using technology to easily communicate on different continents and work together.

Technology has benefited terrorists by giving them another avenue for an attack. Cyber terrorism is one of the biggest threats today. Events like September 11th, have globalized terrorism and made terrorism the number one objective of most countries. “The Age of Globalization has created the conditions allowing terrorists and organized crime groups to join forces. Such as the FARC in Columbia,” (Dangerous Alliance: Terrorism and Organized Crime, Ron Chepesiuk, 2007) Due to the emergent link between terrorism and organized crime the War on Terrorism has developed into a world effort.

Terrorism and organized crime are two entities that are heavily sought by law enforcement, so in order to stay one step ahead working together is a benefit for both. If the terrorist assist in moving drugs through their territory, they can continue building bombs with the money earned. If organized crime can learn new tactics from terrorism they can control their own lands and people more efficiently. In the world of technology and world policing the similarities and unity between the organizations keeps them both in business.

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Similarities Between Terrorism and Organized Crime:. (2017, Apr 24). Retrieved from

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