This Module provides lecturers with an overview on the linkages between terrorism and organized crime, by examining a range of typologies of criminal activity and referencing, where appropriate, relevant case studies. The reference to linkages between organized crime and terrorism in this analysis is used to indicate any interaction between terrorism/terrorist groups and organized crime/organized criminal groups, thus adopting a broad and encompassing approach.
The Module considers the central themes of the overall analysis, namely organized crime and terrorism, and outlines how they have been conceptualized in literature and by States in international fora. It also analyses the international instruments regulating these phenomena, particularly the 19 international instruments designed to combat terrorism, a selection of United Nations Security Council resolutions and the international framework on transnational organized crime, in particular the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its three supplementing Protocols against Trafficking in Persons, Smuggling of Migrants and Trafficking in Firearms.
Over the past two decades, some scholars have developed several theoretical models to explain and provide insights into the evolution and nature of relationships between terrorism and organized crime, as well as to understand why these relationships occur in various countries and regions around the world. This Module offers an overview of some of the most prominent models, including Williams' "Convergence," "Nexus" and "Transformation"; Makarenko's "Crime-Terror Continuum"; and Shelley's Crime-Terror Interaction Spectrum.
Finally, the analysis identifies evidence of various types of interactions between organized crime and terrorism across a range of criminal activities, including: weapons trafficking, trafficking in counterfeit goods, drug trafficking, trafficking in persons, kidnapping for ransom, exploitation of natural resources and trafficking in cultural property and antiquities. As the cases presented highlight, these linkages are complex, fluid and continually evolving.