Linkages of Organised Crime with Terrorism

Linkages of Organised Crime with Terrorism

In this article , we will deal with topic titled ‘Linkages of Organised Crime with Terrorism.’


Note : This article is part of our series on Internal Security. You can check other articles on following links

  • Linkages between development and spread of extremism
  • Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security
  • Role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges
  • Basics of cyber security
  • Money-laundering and its prevention
  • Linkages of Organised Crime with Terrorism
  • Security challenges and their management in border areas
  • Various Security Forces and Agencies and their mandate


Characteristics of Organised Crime Groups

  • Structured to survive leadership changes
  • Operates beyond the lifetime of individual
Structure Highly structured with properly defined hierarchy
Membership Restricted and based on common traits like ethnicity, background and common interest
Criminality Group specialises in more than one crime
Violence Use of violence against opposite groups and also to protect their commercial interests
  • Illegally obtained money is invested in legal economic activity
  • Public officials and legitimate businessmen have been corrupted or intimidated




Famous Organised Crime Groups of the World

Japan Yamaguchi Gumi Annual turnover of $6.6 billion


USA CRIPS African American Organised Criminal Group in USA with turnover of $8 billion


India D Company
  • Most powerful gang of Mumbai
  • Have networks abroad
  • Involved in extortion, narcotic drugs, smuggling and contract killing
  • Is in Dubai since 1985




Main activities carried by Organised Crime

Drug Trade Biggest Source of revenue




  • Large scale poaching
  • 50% of world species are facing fastest man made mass extinction
  • Timber poaching is also multi billion dollar avenue


Trafficking cultural


  • Important avenue for money laundering
  • Artefacts are stolen & sites destroyed.
  • No serious efforts to combat this at world level


  • Across Horn of Africa , Malacca and Sundarbans  has become headache


Organ trafficking
  • Organ transplant can save life but heavy demand supply gap
  • Desperate situation of recipient and donor make avenue ready
  • Unlike other crimes in this professional like doctors etc involved




Organised Crime and Terrorism

Intersection between terrorism and organised crime can be divided into three categories

Linkages of Organised Crime with Terrorism
Intersection between terrorism and organised crime
Co – existence Refers when both (Organised Crime Gangs & Terrorist Organisations) operate in same theatre but remain separate entities


  • Generally don’t cooperate with each other as their motives are different
        • Terrorists – change in political status quo
        • Organised Crime – change in status quo only when it threatens them
  • But when benefit outweighs risk they cooperate and these include specific operational supports which can be acquired in cost effective manner from each other
International drug trade and terrorism Columbia : Medellian Drug Cartel hired ELN to implant car bombs in 1993 because they didn’t had expertise in bombs
Smuggling and Terrorism Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan allied with Afghan drug mafia so that movement can occur safely to soviet union



Confluence When both activities are done by single entity

Organised crime Use terror tactics to safeguard their business interest

    • D Company’s terrorist activities
Terrorist group Use organised crime to gather funds for carrying out activities

    • Al Qaeda using credit card fraud proceedings






Differences between Terrorism and Organised Crime

Terrorism Organised Crime
Wants to overthrow existing government by changing the present order Don’t want to overthrow the state => Only wants to form parallel government
Use violent means Generally remains non violent . Violence is used  as last resort
Driven by political objectives Driven by economic objectives
Tries to seek media attention They don’t




UN Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime

When Adopted in 2000

Came to force in 2003

    • States committed to have legislations and criminal offences of participation in organised crime group ,money laundering ,corruption and obstruction of justice
    • Committed to have training and tech assistance to tackle organised crime
Benefit States would have access to new framework for mutual legal assistance and law enforcement cooperation


# Organised crime in India

Legal position in India on organised crime

There is no national law specifically dealing with Organised Crime in India. Various provisions of IPC deal with it .


Various states have enacted special legislations for Organised Crime like Maharasthra (1999 – first) , Delhi, UP, Gujarat , Karanataka & Haryana (2019) etc


Organised crime in India is predominantly an urban phenomenon

Criminal conspiracy
  • Defined by Section 120A of IPC
  • When two or more person agree to do or cause to be done an illegal act or an act which is not illegal by illegal means


  • Oldest form of crime in india
  • Section 391 of IPC deals with it
  • If 5 or more persons commit robbery it is termed as dacoity
  • Punishable offence with imprisonment for life or rigorous imprisonment   Upto 10 yrs


Law on Gangster
  • No central legislation
  • State of UP enacted UP Gangster and Anti Social Activities Prevention Act,1986



No single act to deal with it and government is planning to make Organised Crime Control Act.



Problems in controlling Organised Crime in India

  • Inadequate Legal Structure : India does not have a special law to control/suppress organised crime. The existing law is inadequate as it targets individuals and not the criminal groups or criminal enterprises


  • Difficulties in Obtaining Proof: criminal groups are structured  in a hierarchical manner, the higher echelons of leadership are insulated as there is  hardly any documentary evidence.


  • Dual Criminality: Certain crimes, particularly drug trafficking, are planned in one part of the world and executed in another. Different nations have different legal structures and extradition of criminals from one country to other is very difficult.


  • Criminal, Political & Bureaucratic Nexus: Due to this, the investigating and prosecuting agencies are finding it extremely difficult to deal effectively with them


  • Lack of Resources & Training:  Police comes under the State’s subject. Most of the States face a resources crunch and there is hardly any training facilities  for  investigation of organised crime


  • Criminalisation of Justice .

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