January 27, 2005
This article explores the nature of links between terrorism and trafficking in illicit narcotic drugs. It discusses some of the empirical evidence on the simultaneous presence of armed conflict, including the terrorist variety, and the cultivation, processing and trafficking of narcotic drugs. While some authors postulate close links - and even convergence - between terrorist groups and organized crime groups, the author of this article is more skeptical about the nature and extent of this connection. He points out both similarities and differences between these two types of organizations and also explores the possible reasons which might tempt - and restrain - groups of one type to establishing connections with groups of a significantly different mindset. He finds that the “in-house” development of organized crime activities by terrorist organizations is a more imminent problem than a close alliance or convergence of organized crime and terrorist organizations. Consequently, he recommends that the Palermo Convention against Transnational Organized Crime be used to prevent terrorist organizations from acquiring the financial resources needed to launch and maintain terrorist campaigns. At the same time he is skeptical about the use of the concept of “narco-terrorism”. Its implication, the fusing of the “war on drugs “and the “war on terror,” might do a disservice to both.
by Alex Schmid
On December 9th 1994, the General Assembly of the United Nations issued a Declaration on Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism wherein it expressed, inter alia, its concern “at the growing and dangerous links between terrorist groups and drug traffickers and their paramilitary gangs, which have resorted to all types of violence, thus endangering the constitutional order of states and violating basic human rights”.
Since then, much stronger and broader statements have been made, especially in Security Council resolution 1373 (2001) wherein the Council “Notes with concern the close connection between international terrorism and transnational organized crime, illicit drugs, money-laundering, illegal arms-trafficking, and illegal movement of nuclear, chemical, biological and other potentially deadly materials.…”
Of all the alleged and real links between terrorism and other forms of crime, the one between illicit drug trafficking and terrorist and guerrilla organizations seems to be the strongest. It certainly appears to be the best documented. Yet, while there are hundreds of terrorist organizations and at least as many drug trafficking organizations, the evidence, which is said to exist, is derived from relatively few cases.
For some thirty countries, a link between armed conflicts and illicit drug production and trafficking can be established with reasonable certainty. Yet according to UN estimates, there are more than 100 countries involved in some way in the illicit drug trade, either in terms of cultivation, processing, trafficking, distribution, or the laundering of illicit profits. While in most countries where drugs are produced, trafficked or consumed there is a causal link to crime, including violent crime, these are not necessarily terrorist crimes. There is often only sparse empirical evidence for some of the frequently cited cases of alleged connections between illicit drugs and terrorism. Even where these links have been established with reasonable certainty, estimates about the profits from drug trade going to terrorists vary widely. Lack of conclusive proof is often compensated by deductive reasoning such as this: with the end of the Cold War state-supported terrorism declined and terrorists had to look for alternative sources of financing and found it, inter alia, in the production, taxing and trafficking of illicit drugs like cannabis, heroine and cocaine.
The crucial question is: are these known and probable linkage cases, as it were, the tip of an iceberg, or are they, on the contrary, the exceptions to the rule that terrorist organizations and drug traffickers do in general, not work together?
Illicit drugs are, to be sure, not the only possible source of income for terrorists. The spectrum of terrorist funding is broad, as Table 2 makes clear.
|Table 1: Principal Sources of Terrorist Financing|
|Domestic:||individual and corporate, voluntary contribution or coercive extortion|
|Diaspora-migrant communities:||voluntary contribution or coercive extortion|
|Co-ethnic and co-religious support||donations and contributions from people with religious or ethnic affinity|
|State-sponsorship:||patron states encouraging terrorist group to engage an inimical state|
|Public and private donors and individual financiers:||support for terrorist-controlled welfare, social and religious organizations|
|Low level crime and organized crime:||fraud, illegal production and smuggling of drugs, document forgery, smuggling, kidnapping for ransom, armed robbery, money-laundering, racketeering, smuggling of, and trafficking in, human beings|
|Investments and legitimate business:||money earned (e.g. from publications) is used to acquire enterprises and engage in trade with profits being used to finance terrorism|
|Non-governmental organizations and community organizations:||terrorist organizations set up front organizations, which receive funds from sister NGOs in other countries or infiltrate established community organizations, which receive grants.|
Source: Adapted from Rohan Gunaratna “The Lifeblood of Terrorist Organizations: Evolving Terrorist Financing Strategies”, in: Alex P. Schmid (Ed.). Countering Terrorism Through International Cooperation. (Milan, ISPAC, 2001), pp. 182-185.
In 1983, the term "narcoterrorism" was introduced by Peruvian President Belaunde Terry. It became very popular in a very short time . Grant Wardlaw, a senior Australian criminologist, wrote a few years later:
"Narcoterrorism has emerged as a potent weapon in the propaganda war waged by governments against terrorists, insurgents, organised crime, drug traffickers, and even other sovereign states (…). Where “narcoterrorism” is used as an analytical concept intended to convey information about the dimensions of an activity and methods of countering it, it must have well defined boundaries and not subsume under the one rubric a variety of activities of different types, involving different sorts of actors and having a range of (sometimes) contradictory law enforcement and national security implications. In fact, these contradictions are violated by most uses of the term “narcoterrorism”.
A look at a dozen existing definitions (see Appendix II) supports the statement above.
Grant Wardlaw even suggested that we should scrap the term “narcoterrorism” in an effort to encourage a more critical and specific study of drug links to terrorist and insurgent groups. This advice is still worth pondering. If one looks at the activities of organized crime groups and terrorist groups in terms of their respective motivations and group goals rather than demonizing them in terms of a drug mafia-cum-terrorist conspiracy, one is in a better position to understand the extent - and the limits - of cooperation between organized crime groups and secular and non-secular terrorist groups.
One author who has utilized such an approach is Chris Dishman. He has argued that transnational organized crime groups (TOCs) and terrorist groups will,in general, not cooperate with each other to advance aims and interests, preferring to utilize their “in-house” capabilities to undertake criminal and political acts. He postulates the adaptation by these groups of each other’s “core competencies” (for example, a transnational organized crime group’s experience in smuggling drugs or a guerrilla group’s expertise in detonating bombs from a distance). He holds that: “The disinterest of TOCs and guerrillas to forge lasting alliances is a pattern supported by the limited number of examples where collaboration between the two groups has actually occurred."
However, sometimes the development of “in-house” capabilities takes more time than is available and in such cases each other’s services are sought. In the case of Colombia, there were reports indicating that cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar hired ELN (National Liberation Army) guerrilleros to plant car bombs in 1993. In another instance, there were reports that the explosion of 1,100 pounds of dynamite in front of the Department of Administrative Security in Bogota was executed by a Spanish terrorist with ties to the Basque ETA.
The cross-over between terrorist and criminal organizations has caused some analysts - and even more politicians - to lump these two types of underworld organizations together. When it comes to the question of whether one should keep terrorism and organized crime conceptually (and operationally) apart or place them together under some label like “narco-terrorism”, a number of considerations arise. A case has been made for both positions. The argument for keeping them apart has been argued forcefully by Alison Jamieson:
“Organised crime and terrorism are correctly viewed as quite distinct phenomena. Essentially, the terrorist is a revolutionary, with clear political objectives involving the overthrow of a government or the status quo, and a set of articulated strategies to achieve them. Organised crime actors are inherently conservative: they tend to resist political upheaval and seek conditions of order and stability, those more conductive to their business activities. Unlike terrorists, who project an ´ideal state´ for which they are prepared to sacrifice their lives, organised crime sees no virtue in sacrifice, has no comparable sense of ´victory´ or ´defeat´, but operates according to a set of short and medium-term goals to be realised with maximum profit and minimum risk.
In general, the organised criminal power system is not “anti-state”, but a parallel organisational model with its own legal and ethical rules, hierarchy of authority and military force. (…) Thus, unlike terrorist actors whose raison d´etre is direct confrontation with the state against which they practice violence, the survival of an organised crime group depends upon operating within the state, on the penetration by criminal actors of the legitimate political, economic and social spheres”.
On the other side, there are those who tend to label all armed groups “terrorist groups” and equate all insurgents with criminals. With regard to the second they are right in the sense that under domestic law, an internal uprising against the state is considered a crime by those holding state power and by the law of the land. Only international law gives some insurgent groups the status of privileged combatants. This finds its expression in the additional protocols to the Geneva Conventions formulated in 1977. These should not, however, apply to terrorists since their deliberate attacks on non-combatants should deprive them of combatant status. Were it war, such acts would be war crimes and the fact that these are committed in peacetime makes them even more objectionable. Terrorists and war criminals have much in common. Yet, what are the commonalities between terrorist and organized crime groups?
Dissecting the Nature of the Links Between Terrorist and Organized Crime Groups
A more nuanced perspective is needed. There are both differences and similarities between terrorist and organized crime groups. While in the table below there are more similarities than differences, the weight of the differences should not be underestimated.
Table 2: Differences and Similarities between Terrorist and Organized Crime Groups
- Terrorist groups are usually ideologically or politically motivated while organized crime groups are profit-oriented;
- Terrorist groups often wish to compete with governments for legitimacy, organized crime groups do not;
- Terrorist groups usually seekmedia attention; organized crime groups do not;
- Terrorist victimization is generally less discriminate than the violence used by organized crime groups.
- Both operate secretly and usually from an underground network;
- Both use ‘muscle and ruthlessness’ on primarily civilian victims;
- Intimidation is characteristic of both groups;
- Both use similar (though not entirely overlapping) tactics: kidnappings, assassination, extortion (“protection money”, “revolutionary taxes”);
- In both cases, the control of the group over the individual is strong;
- Both use front organizations, such as legitimate businesses or charities.
Source: Alex P. Schmid. The Links between Transnational Organized Crime and Terrorist Crimes. Transnational Organized Crime, Vol. 2, No. 4, Winter 1996, pp. 40-82; for a similar list, see: Thomas S. Anderson. Transnational Terror and Organized Crime: Blurring the Lines. SAIS Review. Washington, D.C., Vol. 24, Issue 1, Winter 2004, pp. 50-52.).
While it is difficult to argue that there are no major differences between terrorist and organized crime groups, many argue that even if the two types of organizations are not identical, there are close links between them or that there is even a trend towards convergence. To assess the validity of this claim, one has to make clear what one means by “links” and "convergence". The semantic range of these terms is considerable (Table 3).
Table 3: ‘Links/ Convergence’ between international terrorism and transnational organized crime- some lexical (near-) synonyms:
- Association: alliance, brotherhood, cartel, coalition, partnership, syndicate, merger, union.
- Alliance: affiliation, connection, consortium, pact, relationship.
- Cooperation: assistance, collaboration, coordination, help, joint action, mutual support.
- Symbiosis: (usually mutually advantageous) association of two different organisms living attached to one another.
- Convergence: approaching each other; move toward the same point or place; the formation of similarities in unrelated organisms living in the same environment.
- Metamorphosis: change of form; change of character; and by extension: cross-over, a transformation from one into the other.
Source: Oxford Dictionary & Thesaurus. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1997.
If these six forms of links are the menu of choices for terrorists and criminals who consider engaging in some type of interaction, their choice will be based on an assessment of risks, opportunities and capabilities within a given context. There are eight factors that might encourage a closer connection from the point of view of terrorist groups:
- access to greater financial resources for terrorist attacks;
- independence from state sponsorship;
- the possibility of building an economic base, compensating for lack of public support;
- access to specialist skills (e.g. forging of travel documents);
- facilitation of cross-border movements (use of smuggling routes);
- substitute activity during armistices or at end of hostilities;
- coming into contact with a wider range of potential recruits, who are already outlaws;
- access to expertise in illicit transfer and laundering of money for foreign operations.
However, there are also factors standing in the way of closer cooperation. They are few, but powerful:
- danger of infiltration, treason;
- danger of losing political credibility.
Now let us look at the choices regarding some form of interaction (‘links'/cross-over/cooperation) from the point of view of organized crime groups. The following appear to stand out:
- drug traffickers benefit from terrorists’ military skills and obtain protection for illicit drug cultivation or trafficking in areas under guerrilla/terrorist control;
- terrorist destabilization of political and economic structures may create favorable environments for organized crime activities;
- law enforcement preoccupation with countering terrorism may divert attention from organized crime activities;
- political-terrorist label provides extra degree of ‘intimidation.’
Yet again, there are also a few, but decisive, arguments, which speak against close links from the point of view of organized crime groups:
1 terrorist group may extort drug-trafficking organizations;2 terrorist group might take over ‘business’ from organized crime group.
Empirically Observed Links Between Criminal and Insurgent GroupsBefore one starts to look at the links between organized crime groups and terrorist groups, it is worth looking at the links among organized crime groups themselves. Empirically speaking, one can find many examples of organized crime groups cooperating with each other. International drug trafficking could hardly function without it. Yet even criminal organizations have only limited trust in each other.Table 4: Level of cooperation with other organized criminal groups
Source: Crime Trends: Results of a Pilot Survey of 40 Selected Organized Criminal Groups in 16 Countries. Vienna, UNODC, 2002, p.20.According to the findings of a UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) pilot study surveying 40 groups in 16 countries, in 35 per cent of the cases there was some level of cooperation with transnational organized crime groups outside of the country where the survey of the criminal group itself was conducted. In 22 percent of all cases, both external and internal cooperation was recorded. Since the majority of organized crime groups are engaged in the smuggling of drugs, which requires foreign partners, transnational cooperation is a necessary requirement. However, the data of the pilot study also indicate that in a surprisingly high number of cases - 30 percent - there was no evidence of cooperation with other criminal groups.
Let us now look at links existing between different terrorist groups. How many foreign links do terrorist groups have? A secondary analysis of US government data about twenty terrorist groups shows that eight have only one link, nine have two links, while two have threelinks.
The exception to the paucity of links is Al Qaeda, which maintains at least 21 links to like-minded terrorist groups. In this regard Al Qaeda is in a league of its own.It appears that both criminal and terrorist groups have fewer partners in crime and terror than is often assumed.
Terrorist Groups Using Organized Crime Tactics and Vice VersaThere is considerable evidence that some terrorist groups are making money from organized crime activities. A recent study, based, inter alia, on a questionnaire to states, found that
"Many States indicated that terrorist groups were frequently involved in other crimes, in particular trafficking in illicit drugs, money-laundering and the falsification of travel and identity or other official documents. Several countries noted links between incidents of corruption of public officials and international terrorism, while others reported links with trafficking in firearms, the smuggling of illegal migrants and other forms of exploitation of illegal markets, inter alia, to support terrorist activities".
There is also evidence that some organized crime groups use tactics of terror. Phil Williams and Ernesto Savona noted that Colombian drug cartels and the Italian Mafia were both using terrorist attacks against the state and its representatives for five different reasons (Table 5).
Table 5: Uses of Terror Tactics by Organized Crime Groups
i) to disrupt investigations;
ii) to deter the introduction or continuation of vigorous government policies;
iii) to eliminate effective law enforcement officials,
iv) to coerce judges into more lenient sentencing policies, and
v) to create an environment more conductive to criminal activity.
Source: Phil Williams and Ernesto U. Savona. Introduction: Problems and Dangers Posed by Organized Crime in the Various Regions of the World. Transnational Organized Crime, Vol. 1, No. 3, Autumn 1995, p.25.
Cooperation Between Terrorist Groups and (Drug-Trafficking) Organized Crime GroupsThere is also evidence of a degree of cooperation between some organized crime groups and some terrorist groups. A recent Canadian study identified five types of cooperation or linkage: operational, logistical, financial, political, and ideological. Governments were asked to indicate whether such links between terrorist groups and organized criminal groups had been observed in their country. Out of 40 respondents, 25 did not report the presence of such cooperation in their country. 13 respondents, on the other hand, indicated that they had observed some form of cooperation between terrorist groups and organized crime groups. The study concluded that "The nature of the links between the two types of groups seemed to be primarily logistical and financial, denoting the presence of alliances of convenience. It tended to become more operational, in those relatively rare instances where there were also some ideological and political links between the two groups".
Armed Political Groups Becoming CriminalsThere is also some evidence that some terrorist and guerrilla groups have shown signs of metamorphosis - degenerating into predominantly criminal groups towards the end of their political life-cycles. In some cases, one can observe, in the words of Dishman a “transformation of revolutionary aims where financial well-being co-exists or overrides traditional political motivations”. Some political actors, corrupted by easy money from organized crime activities, become predominantly criminal actors. Such a (partial) metamorphosis can be observed with terrorist organizations, which are suspending their political killings due to a peace agreement, as in the case of Northern Ireland. It can also be observed with organizations still involved in active political-(para-) military struggles, as in the case of the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) and its right-wing counterpart, the AUC (United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia). The criminal money-making opportunities from drug production seem to become stronger and the political goals weaker.
With regard to non-secular fundamentalist groups like those associated with Al Qaeda, such a transformation of the agenda is probably not (yet) in the making, except perhaps withAbu Sayyaf in the Philippines and the IMU (Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan) in Central Asia.
Yet the assessment problem here is that the criminal activities might in some cases just be the individual ´business' of some members of the terrorist group. In other cases, the terrorist organization accepts criminals in its ranks for their special skills, keeping them relatively isolated from the political-military group members. To equate the activities of some, or of a sector of an organization with those of the terrorist or guerilla organization as a whole can be quite misleading.
ConclusionOn the whole, it would appear that it is not prudent to lump drug trafficking organized crime groups and terrorist groups together. There are links, yes, but there are also important motivational and operational differences between terrorist groups and organized crime groups. One of the questions that needs to be answered is whether terrorism on the one hand, and drug trafficking as a form of transnational organized crime, on the other hand, are rooted in the same environment. A recent study by a research team of the US Library of Congress has indeed suggested this and attempted to identify ten factors making a nation “hospitable” to transnational crime and terrorism:
- official corruption
- incomplete or weak legislation
- poor enforcement of existing laws
- non-transparent financial institutions
- unfavorable economic conditions
- lack of respect for the rule of law in society
- poorly guarded national borders
- lack of political will to establish rule of law
- geographic location (e.g. along arms or narcotics trafficking route)
- regional geopolitical issues (e.g. long-standing territorial dispute).
Yet it is worth looking critically at this list: While the last two factors are obviously linked to drug trafficking and violent conflict, including the use of terrorist tactics, the other eight factors are so broad, that they are present in a great number of places in the world where neither terrorism nor transnational organized crime, nor the combination of the two appear to play a major role. While these eight factors need to be addressed in their own right, the assumption that they form the breeding ground for both transnational crime and terrorism remains questionable and warrants further investigation. This is not to deny that one type of activity (organized crime, in particular drug-trafficking) does feed the other (terrorism) in a number of cases. An Expert Group meeting held in February 2004 in Cape Town concluded:
“The available responses from Member States indicated that terrorist groups are frequently involved in other crimes, particularly illegal drug trafficking, smuggling of migrants, falsification of travel and identity documents, trafficking in firearms and other exploitation of illegal markets, inter alia, to support their activities. However, the responses did not provide strong evidence of organizational links between terrorist groups and organized criminal groups.”
The main contemporary problem in this area, it appears, is that terrorist groups develop in-house capabilities for conducting activities traditionally associated with organized crime. These serve to support the preparation as well as the continuation of terrorist activities. The instrument which the international community has created to combat organized crime, the Palermo Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (2000), can, in such cases, also play a very useful role in the prevention of, and in combating, many manifestations of terrorism. Yet terrorism – that peculiar mix of violence, politics and propaganda – should not be confused with mainly profit-driven organized crime. The vague narco-terrorism formula with its implicit call to fuse the ‘war on drugs’ and the ‘war on terror’ might offer a misleading intellectual roadmap to address the problem of terrorism. For that a broader solution is required (see Appendix I).
Appendix I:Ten Rules for Preventing and Combating Terrorism (compiled by A. Schmid)1. Prevent radical individuals and groups from becoming terrorist extremists, by confronting them with a mix of “ carrot and stick” – tactics;
2. Stimulate and encourage defection and conversion of free and imprisoned terrorists;
3. Maintain the moral high-ground in the struggle with terrorists by defending and strengthening the rule of law, good governance, democracy and social justice;
4. Try to address the underlying conflict issues exploited by the terrorists;
5. Establish an Early Detection and Early Warning system against terrorism and other violent crimes on the interface between organized crime and political conflict;
6. Deny terrorists access to arms, explosives, travel and identification documents, safe communication, safe travel and sanctuaries, and disrupt their preparations and operations through infiltration, communication intercept, espionage and by limiting their criminal- and fund-raising potential;
7. Reduce low-risk/high-gain opportunities for terrorists to strike by enhancing and protecting transportation and communication security and harden critical infrastructures and potential sites where mass casualties could occur;
8. Prepare for crisis- and consequence-management for both “regular” and catastrophic acts of terrorism in coordinated simulation exercises;
9. Enhance international cooperation and technical assistance against terrorism by strengthening the capacity of law enforcement, intelligence and the military to deal with terrorist threats;
10. Last but not least: counter the ideologies and propaganda of secular and non-secular terrorists and try to get the upper hand in the war of ideas – the battle for the hearts and minds of those the terrorists claim to speak and fight for.
Appendix II:Twelve Definitions of Narcoterrorism1. Combs & Slann:”Narcoterrorism is the alliance between drug producers and an insurgent group carrying out terrorist acts. (…) While the ultimate ends sought by each group are usually different, the alliance offers them immediate benefits. The members of these alliances – the coca growers, drug traffickers, and terrorist groups – often share common goals. These include, but are not limited to, the destabilization of the government, the creation of discipline (for market purposes) among growers, and liberation from the meddling of the police and military. Mutual needs make the pursuit of these goals beneficial in some respects to all involved”. (Combs & Slann, 2003:125).
2. Ehrenfeld: Narcoterrorism = “the use of drug trafficking to advance the objectives of certain governments and terrorist organisations”(Ehrenfeld, 1990:xiii).
3. Martin: Narcoterrorism = “Political violence committed by dissident drug traffickers who are primarily concerned with protecting their criminal enterprise” (Martin 2003:16)
4. Napoleoni: Narcoterrorism = “Use of terror tactics by the narco-traffickers and drug lords to protect their illegal businesses. It also describes the alliance between drug lords and armed organisations. Both have interests in destabilising governments and breaking down the established social order” (Napoleoni, 2003:229).
5. Shafritz et al: Narcoterrorism = ”1. A concept that attempts to link international terrorism and international drug trafficking as parallel “industries” which interact synergistically. (…) 2. Acts of terrorism perpetrated by drug kingpins and dealers in order to intimidate and neutralize anti-drug legislation and government and private anti-drug campaigns”. (Shafritz et al, 1991:185).
6. Petrakis: Narcoterrorism =”…. the involvement of terrorist organisations and insurgent groups in the trafficking of narcotics…(…)…. there are three main variants of narcoterrorism. These include:1. Insurgents using the drug trade to support their political objectives;2. States sponsoring ´drugs for arms´ and narcotics operations to further their influence to create instability; and3. Dope dealers utilizing terrorist tactics like bombings, assassinations and kidnappings to enhance their profits” (Petrakis, 2001:119-120).
7. Sawant: Narcoterrorism = “Use of organised terror to secure control over a state or states by another state or organised criminal network/s or by insurgents or by a combination of any or all of them to achieve fixed political, economic or social objectives based on organisational and financial empowerment through drug trafficking” (Sawant, 2002, II: 347).
8. Schweizer: Narcoguerrillas/ narcoterrorists = ”terrorists who take a slice of the drug profits in return for promoting violent intimidation of government officials and multinational companies” (Schweitzer, 1998:166-167).
9. Simons: “Narcoterrorism = “ thus a special brand of terrorism, since although the tactics are similar to traditional terrorism – threats, assassinations, bombings, kidnappings – the motivations and resources are different. There are no ideological or nationalist goals, nor are there ethnic-religious or separatist causes for the violence. Rather, it is the pursuit of money and power that drives the drug lords to attack all who try to stop them. Since they do not have any political constituency to worry about, they see no limits to their violence” (Simons, 2001:331).
10. Thamm: “Symbiotic terrorism =”the combination of criminal professionalism with the readiness of terrorists to use violence, is essentially indifferent in the choice of potential victims. The aim of this ´new form of terrorism´ is, broadly speaking, that of ´terrorist extortion for the purpose of gaining an advantage´. The principal forms of symbiotic terrorism are ´cyberterrorism´ and´ Narcoterrorism´. (Thamm, 2001:111, quoting, in part, J.G. Pilon, 1987).
11. US Drug Enforcement Agency: Narcoterrorism = “a subset of terrorism, in which terrorist groups, or associated individuals, participate directly or indirectly in the cultivation, manufacture, transportation, or distribution of controlled substances and the monies derived from these activities. (…) Further, DEA uses the term to characterize the participation of groups or associated individuals in taxing, providing security, or otherwise aiding or abetting drug trafficking endeavours in an effort to further, or fund, terrorist activities (Hutchinson, 2002).
12. Wardlaw: “‘Narcoterrorism’ is a catchword of some contemporary currency. It is a word pregnant with implication. In the contexts in which it is used, it often implies a conspiracy with strategic as well as tactical goals. It implies a new kind of threat, different in both type and degree from that posed by either drug trafficking or political terrorism alone. Increasingly, it is viewed as a global phenomenon, which can be conceptualised in the same terms wherever it occurs. ‘Narcoterrorism’ has emerged as a potent weapon in the propaganda war waged by governments against terrorists, insurgents, organised crime, drug traffickers, and even other sovereign states” (Wardlaw, 1987: 29)