Viewing organised crime and terrorist organisations through the financial threats they pose to society

Author:Thomas Ren
Position:Centre of Development Studies, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK, and University of Law, London, UK
Pages:940-950
SUMMARY

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine whether there is a meaningful difference, viewed from a financial perspective, in distinguishing between organised crime and terrorist organisations, with regard to the control and mitigation of the threats that they pose to society. Design/methodology/approach The paper uses conceptual models obtained from enterprise theory and... (see full summary)

 
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Viewing organised crime and
terrorist organisations
through the nancial threats
they pose to society
Thomas Ren
Centre of Development Studies, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK,
and University of Law, London, UK
Abstract
Purpose The purpose of this paperis to examine whether there is a meaningful difference,viewed from a
nancial perspective, in distinguishing between organised crime and terroristorganisations, with regard to
the controland mitigationof the threats that they pose to society.
Design/methodology/approach The paper uses conceptual models obtained from enterprise theory
and economics,as well as criminology, and makes use of case studies through the applicationof these models.
Findings The paper nds that when viewed from a nancialperspective, there is no meaningful difference in
distinguishing between the groups because many have undergone processes of convergence and transformation,
such that they assume each others operational and motivational characteristics. However, the answer also
depends on how precisely one denes each type of illicit group as well as the transitions they undergo.
Originality/value The value of this paper is thatit applies two separate modelson interactions between
organised crime and terroristorganisations, the terrorcrime continuum and interactionspectrum, to real life
situations. After assessing their validity for more recent examples of such illicit groups, it then provides a
balanced argument as to distinguishingbetween organised crime and terrorism. One limitation towards the
papers originality,however, is that it draws mainly from pre-existingliterature.
Keywords Convergence, Crime, Organisation, Transformation, Terrorism, Organised
Paper type Research paper
1. Introduction
Organised crime and terrorist organisations have conventionally beenperceived as distinct
illicit groups. Owing to their supposed differing motives, the threats they pose to society
have also been distinguished; the threat of organised crime is the potential to subvert the
integrity of legitimate nancial systems and markets, while terrorist organisations
deliberately challenge the legitimacyof the state and its institutions through the creation of
an uncertain climate (de Boer and Bosetti, 2015). However, the publication of the 2011
Strategy to Combat Transnational Organised Crime represents a recent paradigm shift
towards the view that bothtransnational organised crime (TOC) and terroristgroups pose a
signicant threat to national security (The White House, 2011). This points to the
development of a crimeterror nexusin the period following the Cold War as the
beginning of threat convergence.With the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
I would like to thank Professor Barry Rider for the guidance he provided me in tackling a question of
such complexity. Furthermore, I would also like to thank Dr Frank Madsen for directing me towards
essential academic sources and models from which I have written the article.
JFC
25,4
940
Journalof Financial Crime
Vol.25 No. 4, 2018
pp. 940-950
© Emerald Publishing Limited
1359-0790
DOI 10.1108/JFC-02-2017-0012
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
www.emeraldinsight.com/1359-0790.htm

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