Illicit Finance

688 Words3 Pages
Over the years, the old adage that people determine the successes and failures of an organization has been proven to be true many times over. In terrorism and criminal organizations this simple statement echoes so loudly among the many conspirators. Approaching this issue is very difficult, many variables arise that must be examined to get to the core of problem. Getting to the core is easier said than done, we must take a hard stare at the political, religious, and ideological goals of terrorist organizations. Stepanova in “PONARS Policy Memo No. 393,” argues that as terrorism is rarely the only form of violence practiced by armed groups, illicit drug business is rarely their sole source of funding. (1) All terrorist organizations are involved in illicit finance in some shape, form or fashion. Terrorist groups use drug money for self-financing, particularly to enable the acquisitions of arms, materials, and equipment. Many of today’s capabilities arise from a continued reliance on illicit activities, methodologies, and processes that are appropriate to enable terrorist’s functions. The similarities between terrorist groups and criminal structures lie in the methods used to accumulate funding and launder money. Money laundering possess several decided advantages that enables terrorist and criminal organizations to overcome the limitations on our capabilities to counter their illicit activities. The greatest difference between terrorist and criminal organizations lie in the nature of their respective ultimate goals, which determines the way they spend their funding. Illicit finance supports two basic types of terrorist groups; The Traditional and Non-traditional. Traditional organizations are categorized because of... ... middle of paper ... ...nd methodology focused on breaking down the link between the two may get the details right while focusing on important factors that need to be conveyed in order to provide a true sense of the uncertainties of both organizations. In closing, there are many ways to attack this issue, but as an intelligence community we have to approach it strategically. We must hold these organizations accountable, accountable for death and destruction that their illicit activities have been responsible for globally. Works Cited 1. “Illicit Drug Trafficking and Islamic Terrorism as Threats to Russian Security, December 2005 :, 165 2. Ibid., 166 3. Ibid., 169 4. Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing: Definitions and Explanations, accessed May 4th 2014,, Page I6
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