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Adversary / Threat One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. Talk about (or with?) them.

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Old 11-19-2007   #21
bourbon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jedburgh View Post
As an FYI, Tamara Makarenko is one author who has written a great deal of substance on transnational organized crime as well as its links - existing and potential - with terrorism. [/URL]
I have been raiding my local libraries Jane's achieves, burning out Xerox's, copying Makarenko articles these days. Good info there.

Has anyone read Alms for Jihad: Charity and Terrorism in the Islamic World, by J. Millard Burr and Robert O. Collins? Cambridge press got sued under the U.K's generous libel laws by an Arab businessman, and they recalled the lot and pulped it. I snagged a copy. If there is interest, it's possible a contraband pdf could materialize out of the ether.
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Old 08-24-2008   #22
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Default Al-Qaeda Masters Terrorism On the Cheap

Al-Qaeda Masters Terrorism On the Cheap
Financial Dragnet Largely Bypassed

By Craig Whitlock
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, August 24, 2008; Page A01


Quote:
LONDON -- Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, al-Qaeda has increasingly turned to local cells that run extremely low-cost operations and generate cash through criminal scams, bypassing the global financial dragnet set up by the United States and Europe.

Although al-Qaeda spent an estimated $500,000 to plan and execute the Sept. 11 attacks, many of the group's bombings and assaults since then in Europe, North Africa and Southeast Asia have cost one-tenth as much, or less.

The cheap plots are evidence that the U.S. government and its allies fundamentally miscalculated in assuming they could defeat the network by hunting for wealthy financiers and freezing bank accounts, according to many U.S. and European counterterrorism officials.
I don't know anyone in the CT business who thought that they "could defeat the network by hunting for wealthy financiers and freezing bank accounts" — it is all part of engagement on many, many fronts, to which AQ (and others) naturally have countermoves of their own. Still, an interesting article.
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Old 08-26-2008   #23
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It's just another example of their adaptability to their environment. Self sufficient cells might pose a lot of security issues but can be a successful model if they don't stupid things that bring undue attention to themselves.
Obviously their threat capabilities will be on a lower scale.
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Old 11-11-2008   #24
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WINEP, Nov 08: The Money Trail: Finding, Following, and Freezing Terrorist Finance
Quote:
....Chapter 1, the introduction to this monograph, provides a broad overview of the subjects we cover, as well as some of our basic findings. In chapter 2, we explain the importance of the little-understood efforts to combat terrorist financing, and why they are and should be an important part of the global counterterrorism campaign. Chapter 3 lays out how terrorist financing—like the terrorist threat itself—is rapidly evolving, frequently in response to international efforts to combat it. As we discuss in this chapter, the terrorist groups’ adaptation in how they raise, store and, move funds can often frustrate governmental efforts to detect and stop them. In chapter 4, we assess U.S. and international efforts to combat terrorist financing since the September 11 attacks—first laying out the many areas where steps forward have been taken, then exploring some of the remaining challenges. In chapter 5, we gauge how effective U.S. and international efforts have been, pointing to specific signs of success in an area in which progress is often difficult to measure. In chapter 6, we offer numerous recommendations for U.S. policymakers to bolster the international regime in this critically important area. Chapter 7 provides three case studies, providing “status checks” on the terrorist-financing related activities of three key terrorist groups—al-Qaeda, Hamas, and Hizballah.....
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Old 03-04-2009   #25
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RAND, 2 Mar 09: Film Piracy, Organized Crime, and Terrorism
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This report presents the findings of research into the involvement of organized crime and terrorist groups in counterfeiting a wide range of products, from watches to automobile parts, from pharmaceuticals to computer software. It presents detailed case studies from around the globe in one area of counterfeiting, film piracy, to illustrate the broader problem of criminal—and perhaps terrorist—groups finding a new and not-much-discussed way of funding their nefarious activities. Although there is less evidence of involvement by terrorists, piracy is high in payoff and low in risk for both groups, often taking place under the radar of law enforcement......
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Old 12-03-2009   #26
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Default The illicit goods trade and it's links to crime/terrorism

For my undergrad poli sci class we have to write a final paper and my prompt is on the worldwide illegal illicit goods trade. Which deals with everything from knockoff parada bags, sunglasses and pirated movies to bogus medinces, auto/aircraft parts, as well as illegal arms, and even humans themselves. Now in my paper I want to deal with this particular trade's links to organized crime and terrorism. However I haven't been able to find many useful sources in the academic library here at the college and the same goes for the internet also.

So I was wondering if someone would mind pointing me in the right direction in terms of finding sources?

Thank you,

Last edited by davidbfpo; 12-03-2009 at 04:48 PM. Reason: Thread moved to RFI
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Old 12-03-2009   #27
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Kevin,

This blogsite often comments on the links between crime and terrorism, albeit with a focus on just a few places: http://counterterrorismblog.org/ There is a recent story from The Guardian on cocaine into West Africa and AQIM. A fellow blogsite worth trawling is: http://www.investigativeproject.org/ and www.nefafoundation.org

I have commented before on this reported overlap: http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...?t=6290&page=3 'Mice & Men' thread and http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=6806 'Gangs & Insurgencies'.

Try Europol: http://www.europol.europa.eu/index.a...home&language=
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Last edited by davidbfpo; 12-03-2009 at 04:45 PM. Reason: Adding links slowly
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Old 12-03-2009   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin23
For my undergrad poli sci class we have to write a final paper and my prompt is on the worldwide illegal illicit goods trade. Which deals with everything from knockoff parada bags, sunglasses and pirated movies to bogus medinces, auto/aircraft parts, as well as illegal arms, and even humans themselves. Now in my paper I want to deal with this particular trade's links to organized crime and terrorism. However I haven't been able to find many useful sources in the academic library here at the college and the same goes for the internet also.....
RAND published a study earlier this year, Film Piracy, Organized Crime, and Terrorism
Quote:
This report presents the findings of research into the involvement of organized crime and terrorist groups in counterfeiting a wide range of products, from watches to automobile parts, from pharmaceuticals to computer software. It presents detailed case studies from around the globe in one area of counterfeiting, film piracy, to illustrate the broader problem of criminal—and perhaps terrorist—groups finding a new and not-much-discussed way of funding their nefarious activities. Although there is less evidence of involvement by terrorists, piracy is high in payoff and low in risk for both groups, often taking place under the radar of law enforcement....
The study was funded by the Motion Picture Association, thus the focus on film piracy. However, as the quoted intro blurb states, the study ranged across a wider range of pirated goods than simply films. You may find some sources cited at the end of the book that could be of use - you could also attempt to contact the authors individually and discuss their insights and sourcing.
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Old 12-03-2009   #29
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Terrorist Precursor Crimes: Issues and Options for Congress. CRS, May 24, 2007. (PDF)

Congressional Research Service reports are excellent primers on issues, and for undergrad homework. Most can be found at FAS. Google Scholar and Google News Archives (example) are also invaluable tools for basic undergrad research.

One of the more lucrative illicit schemes in the US for by terrorist financing groups involves tax fraud through tobacco smuggling, see:
Tobacco and Terror: How Cigarette Smuggling is Funding our Enemies Abroad, Prepared by the Republican Staff of the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security. (PDF)

Last edited by bourbon; 12-03-2009 at 06:32 PM.
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Old 01-10-2011   #30
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RAND, 15 Dec 10: An Economic Analysis of the Financial Records of al-Qa'ida in Iraq
Quote:
This monograph analyzes the finances of the militant group al-Qa‘ida in Iraq (AQI) in Anbar province during 2005 and 2006, at the peak of the group’s power and influence. We draw on captured financial records that recorded the daily financial transactions of both one specific sector within Anbar province and the AQI provincial administration. To our knowledge, this monograph offers one of the most comprehensive assessments of the financial operations of AQI or any other contemporary Islamic militant group....
Note: This post is copied from the Al Qaeda in Iraq thread, as it fits in both areas.

Last edited by Jedburgh; 01-11-2011 at 08:46 PM.
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Old 11-28-2011   #31
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Default STRATEGY TO COMBAT Transnational Crime

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/defa..._July_2011.pdf

Quote:
In years past, TOC was largely regional in scope, hierarchically structured, and had only occasional links to terrorism. Today’s criminal networks are fluid, striking new alliances with other networks around the world and engaging in a wide range of illicit activities, including cybercrime and providing support for terrorism. Virtually every transnational criminal organization and its enterprises are connected and enabled by information systems technologies, making cybercrime a substantially more important concern. TOC threatens U.S. interests by taking advantage of failed states or contested spaces; forging alliances with corrupt foreign government officials and some foreign intelligence services; destabilizing political, financial, and security institutions in fragile states; undermining competition in world strategic markets; using cyber technologies and other methods to perpetrate sophisticated frauds; creating the potential for the transfer of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) to terrorists; and expanding narcotrafficking and human and weapons smuggling networks. Terrorists and insurgents increasingly are turning to criminal networks to generate funding and acquire logistical support. TOC also threatens the interconnected trading, transportation, and transactional systems that move people and commerce throughout the global economy and across our borders.
While researching documents to better understand the potential links between terrorism and transnational organized crime I came across our relatively new TOC National Strategy.
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Old 11-28-2011   #32
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Fletcher Forum on World Affairs, Winter 2010: Tracking Narco-Terrorist Networks: The Money Trail
Quote:
Before September 11, 2001, al-Qaeda funded and controlled operations from its base in Afghanistan. Al-Qaeda provided funding for the East Africa embassy bombings in 1998, the 2000 attack on the USS Cole in Yemen, and the 2001 World Trade Center attacks. Today, the terrorist threat is more decentralized, with the al-Qaeda core no longer funding other terrorist groups, cells, or operations as they did in the past. Local cells are being increasingly left to fund their own activities. While many fundraising techniques remain popular, including abuse of charities and otherwise legitimate businesses, terrorist cells increasingly engage in criminal activity to fund their actions. For example, Al-Jemaah al-Islamiyah, an al-Qaeda affiliate in Southeast Asia, helped to finance the 2002 Bali bombings by robbing jewelry stores. Another example is the 2005 attacks in London, which were partially financed by credit card fraud.
Break
Quote:
All things considered, the growing nexus between international terrorism and organized crime may actually be a positive development. For one, tracking terrorists for their illicit activities, rather than their terrorism-based endeavors, is less complicated. Also, while countries may adhere to dissimilar definitions of terrorism or hold divergent lists of designated terrorist organizations, there is more of a consensus on the need to fight crime.
CRS, 24 May 07: Terrorist Precursor Crimes: Issues and Options for Congress
Quote:
According to numerous terrorism scholars and analysts, there are indications
that terrorists are increasingly relying on non-terroristic, precursor crimes to facilitate their terrorist attacks and/or further their terrorist campaign. Additionally, it appears that terrorist groups are diversifying and expanding the variety of crimes they commit. The cause for the increase in pre-attack criminal activity may be due to the following four factors:
- the decline in state sponsorship;
- the amateurization and decentralization of terror;
- enhanced counterterrorism measures,
- and changing terrorist demographics (i.e. shifts in ideology, strategy,
and capabilities).
Quote:
According to the United Nations, there is a convergence of organized crime and ideologically driven terrorist groups. Antonio Maria Costa, a UN official with the Office on Drugs and Crime, reportedly believes the “world is seeing the birth of a new hybrid of organized-crime-terrorist organizations.” For example, media reports suggest that “Jihadists have penetrated as much as a third of the $12.5 billion Moroccan hashish trade.” According to the Brussels-based World Customs Organization, “counterfeiting is one of the fastest growing industries in the world with an estimated market worth more than [$]500 billion each year, or 7 percent of global trade!,” the illegal profits of which often go to fund terrorist organizations.

Last edited by Jedburgh; 11-30-2011 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 11-30-2011   #33
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The Joint Staff J-7 published a first version of a Commander's Handbook for Counter Threat Finance on 13 Sep 11.
Quote:
This handbook provides an understanding of the processes and procedures being employed by joint force commanders (JFCs) and their staffs to plan, execute, and assess counter threat finance (CTF) activities and integrate them into their joint operation/campaign plans. It provides fundamental principles, techniques, and considerations related to CTF that are being employed in the field and are evolving toward incorporation in joint doctrine.
As an aside, I found it interesting, given the current push for putting damn near everything behind CAC access, that this FOUO pub is openly available to the broad 'net public on the Defense Technical Information Center site.
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Old 02-15-2013   #34
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Default Kidnapping: Why AQ Needs Donations More Than Ransoms

An article by Clint Watts (CWOT) which opens with:
Quote:
I discuss the trade offs and disadvantages for al Qaeda affiliates such as AQIM that are dependent on illicit funding schemes, namely kidnapping, to sustain their operations. I conclude with the opinion that al Qaeda needs donations more than ransoms if they intend to orchestrate a comeback.

(He ends)...Another detractor of illicit revenue generation for al Qaeda groups is the scrutiny brought on terrorists by law enforcement and the military when they conduct illegal activities like kidnapping and drug smuggling. An important point that I overlooked in the FPRI post.
Link:http://selectedwisdom.com/?p=975
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Old 02-15-2013   #35
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As this is a wider than AQ thread I was puzzled to read Clint's comment and then minutes later on the BBC:
Quote:
A Newry man is believed to be the first person successfully prosecuted for terrorist fund-raising in Northern Ireland.
Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-21462050

Yes, the first person successfully prosecuted! 'The Troubles' started in 1969 and much has been made in the UK of having terror finance laws and enforcement. The report has no details and a Google search found little else.
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Old 10-05-2013   #36
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Some updates that are relevant to old and emergent security challenges, and the nexus between irregular adversaries and organized crime.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/100952225

Organized crime: World’s most lucrative criminal activities

Quote:
Cross-border organized crime is big business, worth about $2.1 trillion per year, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC), equivalent to 3.5 percent of world GDP in 2009. That's more than six times the world's development aid budget for that year, and equivalent to about 7 percent of global exports of merchandise.


Perhaps unsurprisingly, trafficking illegal drugs is the most lucrative form of illicit business, constituting about half of all proceeds from transnational organized crime. However, plenty of money is also being made from less high-profile enterprises, such as smuggling natural resources such as timber, oil, and gold and other precious metals.

To learn more about this, and other highly profitable criminal activities, read on.
Crime gangs cash in on Europe's budget flights

Quote:
This type of organized crime group flies gang members to a country in the morning to carry out a succession of quick-fire robberies, before flying out in the evening. They hand over their ill-gotten gains to criminal partners in the local area, and regularly take a different flight to a different country the following day. Private homes, businesses, high-value cars, machine parts and increasingly commodities like metal are all targets
.

Quote:
We need to make sure there is a swift exchange of intelligence - so we can get ahead of the game and identify these gangs before they strike, or at least get on the back of them as soon as they have done," he said. And make sure we have the means possible by which we can coordinate multinational arrest operations in the end... not working at a national level, but as a connected community.
http://www.stripes.com/news/middle-e...ships-1.245154

Terrorism newest worry for cargo ships

Quote:
“A rocket fired by suspected al-Qaida terrorists at a COSCO container ship as it transited the Suez Canal in August apparently hit a container crammed full of smuggled cigarettes,” the JOC article said, citing a report by the Irish Independent.

The illicit cargo, with an estimated street value of nearly $6 million, was headed to a phony furniture company in Dundalk, Ireland, part of a smuggling operation supposedly run by businessmen with links to the former members of the Irish Republican Army.

According to Irish press reports, the cigarettes were believed to have been acquired in Vietnam and were heading for Rotterdam, the Netherlands, when the ship was attacked. A tracking device was placed on the container at the Port of Rotterdam and tracked by satellite through Dublin Port and on to a village near Dundalk in County Louth, where four men were arrested.
This is serious, but on the lighter side it appears AQ exposed an international cigarette smuggling operation. Do they get reward money for this?

Last edited by davidbfpo; 11-04-2013 at 02:19 PM. Reason: Copied from Transnational Crime thread
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Old 11-04-2013   #37
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Default Pursuing terrorist finance: UK perspectives

Within the linked document - written evidence given on 'Pursue', part of evidence presented to the House of Commons Select Committee on Home Affairs (HASC) - are several contributions on terrorist finance and counter-action. It includes officials and others, including charities. On a quick read some "gems" lie within.

Link alas no longer works:http://www.parliament.uk/documents/c...20Evidence.pdf
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Old 11-09-2013   #38
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Default A "blind eye" to supporting Syrian insurgents

I recently heard an open source analyst comment that the Syrian insurgents were receiving financial support, up to US$600m, from rich families and others in the Gulf who move the cash to Kuwait ostensibly to donate to Kuwaiti charities. Kuwait and the Gulf states have legislation on countering terrorism finance, but being charitable donations prefer to "look the other way". Plus a Salafist faction is present in the Kuwaiti parliament, who would not support an official response.

A partial support comes in this Kuwaiti newspaper report:http://alhayat.com/Details/568664 The Google translation is not perfect.
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Old 11-09-2013   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
I recently heard an open source analyst comment that the Syrian insurgents were receiving financial support, up to US$600m, from rich families and others in the Gulf who move the cash to Kuwait ostensibly to donate to Kuwaiti charities. Kuwait and the Gulf states have legislation on countering terrorism finance, but being charitable donations prefer to "look the other way". Plus a Salafist faction is present in the Kuwaiti parliament, who would not support an official response.

A partial support comes in this Kuwaiti newspaper report:http://alhayat.com/Details/568664 The Google translation is not perfect.
Ultimately this is a Shia-Sunni conflict at the strategic level, and Saudi is the leading Sunni State supporter of the Sunni resistance in Syria. I don't think they ever attempted to conceal that, but they are much more vocal about it now that they have publically changed the nature of their diplomatic relationship with the U.S. due to disagreement on U.S. policy towards Iran and Syria.

http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Sau...t-of-US-330461

Quote:
Saudi Arabia and its Persian Gulf allies are moving to independently provide military support to Syrian rebels amid what they see as a failure of US leadership in the region, The Washington Post reported on Saturday, citing senior Gulf officials.

According to the report, the officials said that they have given up on the US as coordinator of efforts to arm and train Syrian rebels after Washington decided not to launch air strikes after the use of chemical weapons by Syria, as well as the US decision to engage in diplomacy with Iran over its nuclear program.
Also talk of Saudis desiring to buy nuclear weapons from Pakistan, so it doesn't appear stability in this region is on the horizon any time soon.
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Old 12-04-2013   #40
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Default A "blind eye" to supporting Syrian insurgents Part 2

More on the role of Kuwaiti individuals and others in raising funds for the violent Jihad in Syria:http://mideastafrica.foreignpolicy.c....MqY5DsXo.dpbs

Curious to learn some support President Assad and of course there is now a law about to counter terrorism financing. Clearly working well.
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