Terrorism Versus Organized Crime

CJUS 434-IP 1

Title: Terrorism Versus Organized Crime

Terrorism Versus Organized Crime

Defining terrorism and organized crime is no easy task. No experts can seem to agree on either of definitions of these two entities but always try to. The only thing that can be said about these two terms is that there is no unanimously accepted definition of either. They both have an abundance of similarities as they do differences. At times, one may not even be able to tell them apart from one another. Be it terrorism or organized crime, one this is an absolute; they both are a threat to an international community.

Let us first take a look at the definition of terrorism. It is difficult to define because the meaning tends to change with the times. Although there are differing definitions, depending on whom you ask, one thing is common for anyone you ask, terrorism is premeditated and politically motivated. The US State Department defines terrorism as, “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience…” (Hoffman, 1998). Terrorism can also be defined as dishonest use of vigor or viciousness against property or people or to bully the government or the government’s citizens for political, religious or communal intentions. Terrorism is about power and how to obtain it. It is something that is prearranged and gauged. It is destined to implant horror in societies, governments and individuals. Terrorist’s main goals are control, authority and power, on a global hierarchy. A Dutch researcher, Alex Schmid, found that there are 22 essentials that are consistent in defining terrorism. These consists of using force/violence, political character, inducing horror, threats, psychological trauma, wider targets of attack, planning, methodology, violation of humane rules, coercion, public fame, randomness, civilian deaths, intimidation, innocent victims, groups of terrorists, symbolism, being unpredictable, discreet, repeating, criminal character and third party involvement. (Prokić, 2017) This, I feel, is right along the lines with every definition of terrorism one seeks.

Organized crime is also as problematic to explain, as it is to identify. It is so because their activities overlie those that are illegal with those that are legal. Organized crime consists of a multitude of criminal endeavors which aim to obtain monetary profits, albeit, illegal and unlawful. These groups tend to stay discreet and avert discovery by investing in companies or institutions that are run lawfully. Organized crime wants to take over the powers of state. These groups use weight, threats, monopoly and exploitation to gain control. The core components of organized criminal groups are the being inconspicuous, realistic criminal maneuvers, use of force, corruption and to gain profit, and be exempt from the law and legal issues.

These groups of criminals can be local, or international and they are financially driven. These gangs are formed in three distinct ways. The first is by being a part of the family, such as the mafia. It is based on tradition, ethnicity and family ties. The second is by a business. An example of this would be a business that integrates prohibited organized crime techniques in order to gain financially such as insider trader or trafficking. The third way is through a gang of some sort. The members of these gangs are drafted while still young or when in correctional facilities due to lack of love and support in their own homes. Some examples of gangs are Latin Kings or Hells Angels. These groups will use an assortment of permitted and forbidden plots to produce income. The immense figures of money involved can compromise lawful frugalities and have a undeviating bearing on governments by corrupting politicians. Organized crime is a cultivating menace to our national and international wellbeing. It can jeopardize our security, vigor, democratic establishments and financial steadiness.

Even though their definitions differ, globalization of the economy has produced encouraging conditions for terrorist and criminal assemblies to synchronize their events and has allowed them to share their poisonous resources. These two groups are both against governments. They both enlist those that belong to irrelevant social clusters and are exposed to and encumbered by societal or party-political hindrances. “They are the persons attracted by excitement, thrill and risk- taking, who despise socially accepted norms.” (Zubrzycki, 2015) These two entities encourage acts of fierceness and terror, which cause apprehension in social assemblies. Organized crime is a way for both these groups to raise monies for their goals. After 9/11, the US froze monetary assets to many associations that may have had some ties with terrorism. Due to this, terrorists had no choice but to raise funds by activities such as ones that organized criminal groups use to obtain money. Their maneuvers are very much the same. Terrorist will often times, employ means such as kidnapping and bank robberies in order to retain finances so they can further their cause. It is the same as organized crime groups to increase money for control. These two cannot survive without the other.

Other obvious similarities of these two are that all their acts are punishable by law and involve technology. They both employ illegal activities and are very orderly in their conduct. Both these groups are portrayed by confidentiality and discretion of their undertakings and both use forcefulness to reach their goals.

The differences in these two groups are their ideologies and intentions. “The aims of terrorist organizations are of a political, ideological or religious nature. For them money plays an indirect role, it is not an end in itself but a necessity to serve the higher purpose. Organized crime groups carry out their activities exclusively in order to achieve financial gain…” (Zubrzycki, 2015) Terrorist wish to reform society but organized crime groups wish to increase subjective criminal returns. Organized crime groups do not like to disclose their objectives to the public but terrorists announce to all those who listen what they aim to achieve. Terrorist claim accountability but organized crime groups never shoulder any. Terrorism is categorized by a continuous conflict with the government and an effort to change it, organized crime is known for its penetration and corruption of politicians.

There are a multitude of terrorist and organized crime organizations that currently exist. The top two I saw were one that is Boko Haram the other is its splinter group, Ansaru. Both of these were founded in 2002. Boko Haram is a Nigerian Jihadist group who is responsible or over 6000 deaths. It is an Islamic group that is against western education and any such teachings which it considers un kosher thus the word Haram. (Delman, 2015) Also in Nigeria is another militant group that has formed from Boko Haram, Ansaru. They tend to take hostages, especially foreigners. Their full name is Jama'atu Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis Sudan: "Vanguards for the Protection of Muslims in Black Africa". This group is a part of al- Qaeda. They claim they are fighting to repossess the misplaced pride of Muslims of black Africa. They split from Boko Haram because they thought Boko was cruel to the Muslim nation due to killings of the innocent citizens of Nigeria. (Chothia, 2013) It is much smaller than Boko Haram and their goal is to defend Muslims in Africa by fighting the Nigerian government and international interests. They may be small in number but are experts in education, trained well and better educated.

Organized crimes also have some staple groups. Two such groups are those that are called Solntsevskaya Bratva and Yamaguchi Gumi. Solntsevskaya has revenue of $8.5 billion and is one Russian mafia group. Their structure is decentralized and consists of 10 separate crews that operate detachedly from one another. Their money is combined and is supervised by a 12-person team all over the world. The group has over 9000 associates and primarily deals with drug and human trafficking. The Yamaguchi Gumi gang has a revenue of $6.6 billion and is the largest known gang in the world. They hail from Japan and are known as Yakuza. Most of their money is from drug trafficking. The rest of the revenue comes from gambling and extortion. They are one of the most centralized gangs in the world and their start dates back hundreds of years. They are bounded together by elaborate hierarches and once the members are initiated, “… they must subvert all other allegiances in favor of the Yakuza.” (Matthews, 2014)

In this day and age, that correlation between organized crime groups and terrorism is much more multifaceted and refined. Due to this, the sanctuary of the world is at stake and poses a grave danger. These two entities are fusing and are continually progressing and acclimatizing to fresh situations. This is a dangerous direction for civilization and full responsiveness of the complete global population is being demanded. We cannot afford any more of these hybrids to pollute our livelihoods.

Works Cited

Chothia, F. (2013, March 11). Profile: Who are Nigeria's Ansaru Islamists? Retrieved August 19, 2018, from www.bbc.com: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-21510767

Delman, E. (2015, November 18). The World's Deadliest Terror Organization. Retrieved August 19, 2018, from www.theatlantic.com: https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/11/isis-boko-haram-terrorism/416673/

Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2018). Organized Crime. Retrieved August 19, 2018, from www.fbi.gov: https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/organized-crime

Hoffman, B. (1998). Inside Terrorism. Retrieved August 19, 2018, from www.nytimes.com: https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/books/first/h/hoffman-terrorism.html?mcubz=0

Matthews, C. (2014, September 14). The Biggest Organized Crime Groups in the World. Retrieved August 19, 2018, from www.fortune.com: http://fortune.com/2014/09/14/biggest-organized-crime-groups-in-the-world/

Prokić, A. (2017). THE LINK BETWEEN ORGANIZED CRIME AND TERRORISM . Law and Politics , 15 (1), 85-94.

Zubrzycki, W. (2015). Similarities and Differences Between Organized Crime and Terrorism. Retrieved August 19, 2018, from The Central European Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities: http://cejsh.icm.edu.pl/cejsh/element/bwmeta1.element.ceon.element-bdb68400-064c-3c81-a0ac-ba873b7fe973