Narco-terror is a term that describes the connection between narcotics and terrorist organizations. There is a nexus between terrorist organizations and drug traffickers (organized crime) because of a symbiotic relationship that allows the two groups to benefit from the facilitation and trafficking of drugs for profit. Terrorists can offer drug traffickers military protection in controlled areas, weapons, and clandestine communication in return for revenue and assistance in corrupting officials to obtain false documents and take advantage of poorly regulated banking structures to launder money. Both groups also rely on compartmentalized cells to accomplish day-to-day operations while protecting the leaders.
Find a recent case (or based one you create on a recent incident) in which narcotics were smuggled by organized crime in conjunction with a terrorist group (past 3-5 years), preferably from Mexico, South America, or Central America.
Task 1: Identify the criminals (which organized crime group and which terrorist group) and describe how they attempted to smuggle drugs (e.g., on plane, cargo ship, human mules). What other associated activities were involved (e.g., laundered money, bribing officials).
Task 2: What security was in place to prevent drug smuggling for that port of entry/method of transportation? Why did it not work?
Task 3: What would you need to do to improve the detection of drug smuggling and its associated criminal activity.
Use all of the readings, making sure to cite at least 2 required readings for each task (and when possible, use optional readings).
Hesterman, J.L. (2013a). Transnational organized crime: The dark side of globalization (pp. 7-40). The terrorist-criminal nexus: An alliance of international drug cartels, organized crime, and terror groups. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.
Hesterman, J.L. (2013b). Drug-trafficking organizations go global (pp. 133-164). The terrorist-criminal nexus: An alliance of international drug cartels, organized crime, and terror groups. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.
Hesterman, J.L. (2013c). traditional terrorist and criminal financing methods: Adapting for success (pp.165-204). The terrorist-criminal nexus: An alliance of international drug cartels, organized crime, and terror groups. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.
Novakoff, R. (2015). Transnational organized crime: An insidious threat to U.S. national security interests. Prism: A Journal of the Center for Complex Operations, 5(4), 135-149.
United Nations (2017). The drug problem and organized crime, illicit financial flows, corruption, and terrorism. Accessed at: http://www.unodc.org/wdr2017/field/Booklet_5_NEXUS.pdf (10/28/2018).
Warner, J.A. (2011). Drug trafficking and narco-terrorism. In M.Shally-Jensen (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Contemporary American Social Issues, 2, 458-473.
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