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Day 58 – Q 3. Examine the linkages that have evolved recently between terrorism and organised crime.

3. Examine the linkages that have evolved recently between terrorism and organised crime.  

आतंकवाद और संगठित अपराध के बीच हाल ही में विकसित हुए संबंधों की जाँच करें।


Organized crime is a category of transnational, national, or local groupings of highly centralized enterprises run by criminals who intend to engage in illegal activity, most commonly for money and profit.

Activities of organised criminals most commonly include trafficking in humans, illicit goods, weapons and drugs, armed robbery, counterfeiting and money laundering.

Transnational organised crime and international terrorism increasingly share both organisational and operational characteristics, and at times even partner with one another.

Often, the core interest of a criminal group is profitability. On the other hand, the primary interest of a terrorist organisation is driven by political or ideological motivations. However, the nexus between crime and terrorism finds active collaboration between the two.


A case study of global nexus: Drug Trafficking and Terrorism

  • Afghanistan survey report of United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) estimates indicate that in 2017, opium poppy cultivation increased sharply to an unprecedented record high of 3,28,000 hectares from an estimated 2,01,000 hectares in 2016.
  • It is also evident from the report that the markets in Europe and the US, which are the most important consumption source for high quality drugs, have also become the indirect facilitators of terrorism.
  • The profits that drug sales help generate for criminal and terrorist groups, allow organisations like the Taliban to emerge as amongst the best funded and richest terror groups in the world.
  • UNODC report indicates that, “Drug trafficking groups in Europe are frequently also involved in the counterfeiting of goods, trafficking in human beings, smuggling of migrants and trafficking in weapons.
  • This reinforces the trend of mutual benefit between criminal groups in Europe and the Taliban, even if there is no direct linkage between the two.
  • India does not figure as a major drug producing country. Incidents of the same are restricted to some areas in the Naxal affected areas and Northeast India.
  • Instead, India is referred to as one of the vital links between the Golden Crescent in the west and the Drug Triangle in the east.
  • Border areas along Western India are also prone to smuggling of drugs, often in the form of composite loads. These take place in the form of packages that include not only drugs but also fake currency and weapons.
  • The market for these criminal proceeds in India, not only supports the criminal network, but also allows terrorist groups to exploit the same.

Organised crime and terrorism in India

  • In the Northeast, extortion is the fundamental basis for funding all forms of terrorism. In addition to this, kidnapping has been used extensively for spreading terror and raising funds. Human trafficking, drug trafficking and gun running are some of the other criminal activities that have been common in these areas.
  • In J&K, counterfeit currency has been a major source of funding terrorism.
  • In the Maoist terror movements, extortion is yet again a common phenomenon. They have also indulged in robberies of banks to fund their movement. There have also been reports of cuts being enforced on drug yielding crops in the region.
  • There are also a number of insurgent groups which over a period of time have morphed into crime syndicates.
  • What began as an ideological movement is now merely a means of generating profit. This is especially the case with insurgent groups in Northeast India.


Crime, money laundering and terrorism need an ideal breeding ground, which creates the requisite conditions that can facilitate exploitation of structures and systems in place. This is not peculiar for India or South Asia and is a universal condition.

The growing complexity and sophistication of the means, especially corruption and technology, adopted by adversaries, criminals and terrorists alike has changed the character of the threat.

There is need to adopt multipronged approach to break this nexus, by cooperation and coordination between local, national and international policy making.

Best answer: Mudrarakshas

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