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The Links Between Crime and Terrorism in Europe
Radicalisaiton and terrorism are among the most pressing security threats in the European Union. The possible interaction or convergence between conventional and organised criminals on the one hand and extremists on the other can amplify the risks presented by both security issues. On 8 November 2018, the Center for the Study of Democracy hosted a conference on The Links between Crime and Terrorism in Europe, during which Prof. Dr. Peter Neumann, Rajan Basra and Zora Hаuser from the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence at King's College, London presented the results from the Crime-Terror Nexus Project.

In Western European countries the crime-terror nexus is particularly pronounced as exemplified by Islamist extremists engaging in crimes such as drug trafficking both prior to and after subscribing to radical ideologies. With regard to both radicalisation to extremism and crime, social networks are particularly important as they can provide access to an extremist ideology or facilitate the acquisition of skills and contacts which can be useful both for terrorist and criminal purposes. Prisons are also environments which are particularly conductive to processes of radicalisation and can thus foster the adoption of extremist narratives among criminals. Therefore penitentiary institutions need to be prioritised in efforts to counter radicalisaiton. Contrary to Western European countries, a crime-terror nexus is hardly observed in Bulgaria and Romania. Nevertheless, both countries have established organised criminal groups which can potentially provide important services to terrorist organisations, such as facilitation of illegal migration. Therefore, it is important to be cognizant of the security risks presented by the intersections between different types of crime and extremism and develop a comprehensive approach to prevent and counter such processes when they occur.

Agenda (Adobe PDF, 146 KB)
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