Terrorism is the use of violence or intimidation to achieve a political, ideological, or religious goal. Terrorist groups often seek to spread fear and chaos in order to advance their cause or to disrupt the functioning of a government or society. Terrorism can take many forms, including bombings, assassinations, kidnappings, and hijackings. It can be perpetrated by individuals, groups, or states, and it can be motivated by a wide range of ideological, political, or religious beliefs.
Extremism refers to the holding of extreme views or beliefs, especially political or religious ones. Extremists are often characterized by their willingness to use violence or other extreme measures to promote their views or to resist those who disagree with them. While extremism can take many forms, it is often associated with extremist political or religious movements that seek to impose their ideology on others by force.
Organized crime refers to criminal activity that is carried out by a group or organization, often for financial gain. This can include activities such as drug trafficking, human trafficking, money laundering, extortion, and fraud.
Organized crime groups are often hierarchical and operate covertly in order to avoid detection and prosecution. They can be difficult to dismantle due to the complex networks and financial resources they can access.
The distinctions between organised crime and terrorism are:
Their variances stem from their respective aims and means:
- Terrorism strives to change the status quo in order to topple the incumbent administration. Organized crime, on the other hand, seeks to cohabit with the present government while forming a parallel government.
- Secondly, terrorism predominantly employs violent tactics, whereas organised crime theoretically advocates nonviolence but does not always do so.
- Thirdly, terrorism is only motivated by political goals despite the use of regional, national, and religious feelings to attain their purposes, whereas organised crime is driven by economic goals.
Realizing the connection between organised crime and terrorism:
- Terrorism and organised crime (money laundering, drug trafficking, arms trafficking, people trafficking, counterfeit currency) are conjoined twins that constitute a grave threat to the global community due to their network and lethal impacts.
- As terrorist action requires substantial funds, terrorists engage in organised crime to finance their activities. Organized crime is the primary source of funding for terrorists.
- Due to the international nature of organised crime, they host terrorists and facilitate their expansion into other regions.
- Terrorist organisations transfer funds through the established network of organised criminal organisations.
- Organized crime syndicates offer smuggled weaponry and explosives to terrorist organisations in exchange for security, narcotics, etc.
- Terrorist organisations also raise cash by sending couriers of illicit narcotics, weapons, etc. to other criminal organisations.
- They have a mutually beneficial connection, and their substantial presence may be observed in regions with inefficient government. However, not all organised crime is terrorism, and not all terrorism is organised crime.
Examples demonstrating the connection between organised crime and terrorism:
- Human trafficking, drug trafficking, and firearms smuggling are a few of the additional illicit enterprises that have frequently funded terrorism.
- In the Northeast, all types of terrorism are funded primarily through extortion. In addition to this, abduction has been often utilised to promote fear and raise money.
- In J&K, counterfeit cash has been a significant source of terrorist financing. The function of money laundering is crucial. In Kashmir, Hawala (money laundering) transactions are rapid and efficient.
- Extortion is once again a prevalent occurrence within Maoist terror movements. They have also committed bank robberies to finance their movement.
Comparable Features of Organized Crime and Terrorism:
- Both parties employ severe violence and threats of retaliation. These violent actions include kidnappings, murders, and extortion.
- Both operate in secret, albeit occasionally in the open on neutral territory.
- Both disregard the government and the rule of law. They pose a significant danger to national security.
- Both are exceptionally adaptive, creative, and resilient.
- Both have given social assistance, albeit terrorist organisations do so far more frequently.
Terrorism and Organized Crime Connections:
Terrorist groups require weapons and funds to combat security forces. Organized criminals and terrorist groups become one other’s clients. Organized criminal gangs transport guns, narcotics, livestock, and persons in order to create funds for terrorist organisations.
Terrorist groups continually attempt to destabilise the nation and undermine the morale of security personnel. When terrorist groups are unable to directly engage the security forces, they turn to organised crime. Thus, organised crime indirectly aids these terrorist organisations.
Typically, organised criminal gangs build a robust communication network. These organised organisations serve as the terrorists’ eyes and ears.
Terrorist organisations in India, particularly in the northeast, raise finances through transporting illegal substances, weapons, and sometimes even humans from one location to another.
Terrorists are perpetually in need of funds. As they are unable to raise substantial funds, they enlist the aid of organised criminals to swap counterfeit currency for weaponry.
Conclusion and Forward Steps
The relationships between organised crime and terrorism are not unbreakable, as in the majority of developed nations, organised crime thrives with little or without terrorist activity.
The links exist in regions with inadequate government and order. While organised crime encompasses several activities, its connections to terrorism derive from illicit drug, weapons, and human trafficking as well as money laundering. For their war against the security forces, terrorist organisations, whether indigenous or backed by other powers, require weaponry and funds.
Organized crime is not just a concern at the national level, but has also become a threat at the worldwide level, necessitating a global response. The police agency should be well-equipped with trained personnel, modern weaponry, and expanded manpower. We also need to strengthen cyber security safety and coastline security by registering wooden boats, which are a common entry point for terrorists into India.
The government should implement high-tech tools to track criminal organisations. Technology, Manpower, and Intelligence must collaborate to combat organised crime in India, and agencies should be created specifically for this purpose.