The Similarities Between Terrorist and Criminal Organizations

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Terrorist and criminal organizations have many similarities, such as their use of the disenfranchised people of society for the organization’s political advantage, basic structures, recruiting base and use of religion. Organized crime is linked to the production, smuggling and sale of illegal goods and services such as trafficking in drugs or arms, smuggling of people, human trafficking, especially women, and loan sharking. Organizations that engage in these activities usually have no territorial aspirations and have every reason to stay out of the way of the authorities and their law enforcement agencies. Organized crime organizations like this are far more numerous than the branches of the Mafia, Triads or Yakuza. However, they are not stable nor bureaucratically organized enterprises. Instead, organized criminal organizations consist of networks of small and flexible groups of criminals or cells, much like terrorist organizations. This free form of illegal business is functional in the competitive and changeable world of misconduct, making its practitioners less visible to the law enforcement agencies. One feature terrorist organizations have in common with organized crime is that they do not always have stable and well organized units. These organizations are far more likely to consist of a collection of independent units. The majority of terrorist groups never get past a formative stage. If they grow into insurgent groups or guerrilla armies, then the need to become better organized emerges. (Chakra) It is probable that the type of terrorism determines in part how it is organized and whether or not there is any collaboration with organized crime. The chance of cooperation with organized crime would seem to be greater in the case of politically motivated terrorist organizations than with fanatical groups. There are terrorist cells which operate in complete
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