Caesarea Research Unit 2017
Terrorism, organised crime financing & fighting back
Terrorism and organised crime financing: Theory, Typology
Terrorism and organised crime costs money. Although the costs of specific terrorist operations may be relatively inexpensive, terrorist and organizations require much larger budgets in order to function. But how do terrorist groups and organised crime acquire funding? What explains the variation in the particular sources used by different groups and organization? This article develops a theory of terrorist and organised crime financing that identifies criteria by which we can gauge the different sources of terrorist and organised crime funding, particularly in terms on how to combat and choke the funding of terrorist and organised crime groups.
Terrorism and organised crime costs money. The money is the oxygen of these organisations.i Without money these groups and organisations could not conduct operations or exist. The variety of sources is impressive, which range from rouge regimes, theft, drugs, people smuggling, the sale of stolen oil, extortion, wealthy individuals using their personal wealth to fund organisations, charities, and the ability to print counterfeit money, these among many other ways are just a few of the ways that terrorist and organised crime groups acquire funds.
The need of financing.
The cost of terrorist operations can be low cost, it was written that a bombing of a café or bus constituted nothing more than store bought materials perhaps costings $150, especially when terrorist commanders did not have to invest in an escape plan for the suicide bomber.ii Terrorist organisations require much larger budges to operate. The leaders and commanders of such organisation are known to earn salaries their wives and children required medical care, food and shelter. These men controlled hundreds of millions of dollars these men become very wealthy men.iii
Groups like Hamas, Hezbollah and the PIJ ran much more than mere faith. Terror is a lucrative skill set and the most talented in the pool required top dollar. Money had to always be set aside with escrow cash to be paid to their families should the soldiers in the organisation be captured or killed. In the case of the suicide bombing campaign against Israel was expensive and required a constant flow of cash. Safe houses need to rented, cars had to be purchased. These buildings were either turned into bomb making factories or weapons caches. ISIS profits from oil sales were estimated at 2.4 billion US dollars in revenue in 2015. iv
Organised crime organisations have been known to do business with terrorist organisations, and rogue regimes/nations, Venezuela had turned into a criminal
State that trafficked in narcotics and carried the drugs and cash in diplomatic pouches and maintained close ties to Iran, Syria and Hezbollah. v
Choking terrorist and organised crime financing
It is well known that many countries security organisations have attempted and stopped the financing of terrorism and organised crime but none have been more effective than the organisation created by Meir Dagan. Dagan set an operational precedent that the United States followed following the September 2011 attacks. In 1996, Dagan was placed in charge of Israel’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau. It was here that he created Harpoon, a financial counterterrorism task force encompassing representatives from the military, the intelligence services, the police, the customs service, and other ministries. In 2002, when Prime Minister Sharon appointed his old friend to serve as the head of the Mossad, Dagan brought Harpoon to Israel’s intelligence service and it became operational. Harpoon’s calling card was “follow the money, target the money, and kill the money.” vi
Much is being done to combat terrorism and the financing behind them, but not enough, what security organisation can employ but have yet to be employed are sadistic thinking and bringing that thinking to operations.vii
New financing method for organised crime and terrorism
For many that don’t know Bitcoin, Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency and worldwide payment system; it is the first decentralized digital currency the system works without a central repository or single administrator.
There are no current cases of terrorism financing through bitcoins but we believe that in the near future this may be a source of moving currency and funding for terrorism and organised crime organisations due to its lack or tractability of were the bitcoin goes this may be the most effective way of moving and financing terror and organised crime funds.viii
Lone wolf attacks and combating them
Recently many countries have endured the Lone wolf attacks on its citizens from shootings; knife attacks and the use of vehicles to run pedestrians down, most of these attacks have been home grown. Intelligence and security agencies have foiled many attacks in recent years.
What else can be done to prevent these attacks apart from the current tactics countries can pass laws that the victims of terrorism and organised crime can now actively sue the individual and organisation and any accomplice’s for compensation, assets and accounts can be seized and sold to compensate victims this tactic has been used and been effective in other countries.ix
Many more measures can be taken to prevent and stop attacks which will not be included in this article.x
i Aluf Meir Dagan former Israel Defence Forces Major General and former Director of the Mossad.
ii Nitsana Darshan-leitner and Samuel M Katz .Harpoon. iii Nitsana Darshan-leitner and Samuel M Katz .Harpoon and Aluf Meir Dagan former Israel Defence Forces Major General and former Director of the Mossad. iv Nitsana Darshan-leitner and Samuel M Katz .Harpoon and Aluf Meir Dagan former Israel Defence Forces Major General and former Director of the Mossad. v Aluf Meir Dagan former Israel Defence Forces Major General and former Director of the Mossad. vi Wikipedia and Aluf Meir Dagan former Israel Defence Forces Major General and former Director of the Mossad.
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