NATO Review 2009
Edition 3: Law, order and the elections in Afghanistan
Edition 4: World financial crisis: what it means for security
Current Edition:
Organised Crime
In the next issue How does NATO need to change?
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Due to translations, the other language editions of NATO Review go online approximately two weeks after the English version.
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Terrorists and organised crime: just business?
Terrorists and organised crime groups are working together on a daily basis. In counterfeiting, drugs, arms, and cyber and financial crime. The difference between these groups is increasingly blurred. They often share techniques, personnel, skills and money making activities. NATO Review talks to some key experts about how this happened and where it is leading.
NATO Review looks at how terrorist and organised crime groups work together and asks whether they are really different at all.
Ports and the open sea play a key role as organised crime and terror groups need to move their goods around the world. This video investigates how.
A photostory outlines the trades that organised crime, and some terror groups, specialise in: from cigarettes to credit cards and from cybercrime to piracy.
West Africa's potent mix of organised criminals, Islamist groups, key transit location and array of weak states is seeing security threats prosper.
Gretchen Peters spent over a decade as a news reporter covering Pakistan and Afghanistan. Here she argues that the main way to fight the Taliban and al Qaeda there is through cutting off their drugs money.
Even the US President has commented on Mexico's troubling drug wars. But here Sam Quinones, who lived in Mexico for a decade, argues that the country’s problems have limited security implications for the US – for the moment.

When journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward were investigating the Watergate scandal, the advice from their infamous informant ‘Deep Throat’ was simple: follow the money.

They did - and found it led them to the source of the scandal. And doing the same with organised crime and terror groups is equally useful today. By talking to those who ‘follow the money’ - including investigative journalists - this edition of NATO Review highlights that organised crime and terror groups often overlap: in people, aims, skills and activities.

So just referring to two different, distinct groups may no longer be accurate. Even when there is a clear distinction, one group may start as as a terrorist group and evolve into an organised crime one.

This presents a worrying challenge, which is how to ensure that the fight against these groups is as joined up as their activities. After all, crime is largely a police matter, while terrorism is a broader security matter. Allowing any daylight between these two would just mean an easier ride for the criminals.

In the end, all of the criminal activities come back to money. Whether as an end, or a means to an end.

And this area may well be one which proves the old saying ‘the love of money is the root of all evil’.

Paul King