Organized Crime & Terrorism
(Linkages, Impact & Prevention Plan)
Countering and Combating Organised Crime and Terrorism: Actively Addressing Challenges and Responses to Current Threats
Conventional analysis made a distinction between terrorism and crime. These were considered separate and distinct threats. Terrorists, analysts said, were motivated by ideology and criminals by greed. However, over the years, criminal networks and terrorist groups have paired up with growing regularity for mutual benefit. The age of globalization has created the conditions allowing these two otherwise distinct forces to join hands. Investigations into several terrorist attacks reveal that the terrorists and criminals appear to be deeply intertwined in ways that go well beyond fleeting alliances of convenience.
These connections between the two networks exist on a variety of levels – from purely tactical to strategic – including logistical support in weapons procurement, shared routes, training and some ideological overlap. For example, in the Middle East and South Asia, criminal and terrorist organizations have been known to collaborate in international operations. Criminal syndicates in these two regions are also closely connected to terrorist groups via the illegal drug trade. Money earned from drug trafficking supports both criminal and terrorist activity. As a result, it may be impossible to destroy the logistical network supporting terrorist groups without striking major blows at supporting criminal networks.
The impact of the such linkages have the potential of transforming both the terrorist groups as well as the criminal networks. While criminal organizations can become ideological over time, following the paths of terrorist groups, terrorist groups are adopting criminal techniques, including drug trafficking, to raise funds. In South Asia, for example, some criminal organizations have come to acquire ideological or religious predispositions that motivate their actions, not merely cover them.
Such linkages between the two, strengthens their ability to inflict harm on law-abiding societies with conventional weapons. With the assistance from the criminal groups, terrorist outfits are able to continue operations as long as they can acquire the needed weaponry, financing and personnel. In future, the linkages may produce a scenario in future where terrorists lay their hands on nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. Indeed, the growing terrorism-organized crime connection has changed the nature of the War on Terrorism, exacerbated the threat to the global community and created the need for a new paradigm in strategic thinking. Closing this access is difficult, but crucial.
In addition to military cooperation to target the terrorists, much more attention needs to be paid to promoting the rule of law, combating corruption and improving judicial proceedings in areas where terrorists have taken refuge. Police capabilities in urban areas need to be much improved if they are to locate and disrupt criminal networks. International cooperation on extradition laws must also be strengthened, so that criminals cannot easily elude arrest by fleeing the country. Identifying the cooperative activities between the two networks – both tactical and more enduring – is critical to ending the financial and supply lines that support both sets of groups. Underestimating their bonds could prove disastrous.
Singapore generally has not exhibited conditions hospitable to trans-national organized crime or terrorist groups. However, being in the proximity with several Southeast Asian countries where both organised crime and terrorism thrives, there is always a danger of such problem spilling over into its territory. It is, hence, essential that Singapore continues to strive to keep not only its own expanse, but also the region trouble free.
Therefore, it is critical to learn, prepare and be on the alert to deal with the threat posed by the linkages between organised crime networks and terrorists. Such efforts will have to be based on a detailed analyses of world wide case studies of such nexus, experiences of different countries and latest findings of research on the subject.
Training indeed is a key ingredient to the enhanced capacity to deal with the linkages between terrorism and organized crime.
KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM THIS COURSE
The participants would find the Organized Crime & Terrorism seminar to be extremely useful for several reasons. The modules that would be broadly covered in the seminar are as follows:
- Organized Crime & Terrorism: Divergence to Convergence- Mapping the Journey
- The Impact: Drugs, Arms Smuggling and the rest.
- Collective Experience: Case studies from different parts of the world
- Challenges posed by Organized Crime & Terrorism to Southeast Asia
- Dealing with the Nexus: Difficult, Not Impossible?
The course uses the latest research and findings on organised crime and terrorism by a host of leading institutions around the world. To provide a unique and up to date perspective on the subject, it uses audio visual tools and lectures in an easy story telling format generating sufficient interest for the participants to indulge in discussions and also to question the conventional wisdom.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND THE WORKSHOP?
The seminar’s diversified topics are ideally suitable for policy makers in governmental institutions, law enforcement bodies, security officers in hotels, hospitals, educational institutions, public-transportation systems, etc.
The State Sector:
Officials in charge of counter-terrorism, Policemen, security guards in state-run facilities (governmental offices, public transportation security supervisors, courts, schools, state functionaries’ body guards, etc.).
The Private Sector:
Security companies’ personnel, security officers, representatives of security related academies, hotel-security managers, hospitals, shopping centers, VIP body guards, etc. Even the media personnel covering terrorism and security related news would find the seminar especially useful.
“Sandra’s sessions are always highly interactive and engaging with lots of hands on experience and positive outcomes.”
“Sandra listens, analyses our needs and delivers what we need. Our participants benefited immensely.”
“Sandra has conducted several workshops for us for our heads of department and engineers. Feedback is always rated excellent.”
ABOUT THE TRAINER
Dr. Bibhu Prasad Routray
Dr. Bibhu Prasad Routray served as a Deputy Director in India’s National Security Council Secretariat. He is a counter-terrorism analyst by profession and has a decade long experience in living in conflict prone areas and carrying out research on terrorist movements in South Asia. As a terrorism specialist he has conducted several training modules for security forces, government officials, diplomatic staff, media personnel and academicians. He writes on the web and several newspapers (print as well as electronic). Some of Dr. Routray’s writings especially one on the Norway attacks was published in The Straits Times recently. Between November 2010 and March 2011, Dr. Routray was associated with the RSIS where he did a project on India’s Counter-Terrorism Architecture after the Mumbai attacks. Currently, he is affiliated with the think tank of the Indian Army as a Visiting Fellow and finishing a book project on the Maoist Movement in India.