Terrorist Criminal Enterprises

Financing Terrorism through Organized Crime

by Kimberley L. Thachuk and Rollie Lal, Editors
Foreword by Christopher A. Kojm


Modern terrorist groups have evolved into criminal enterprises engaged in such organized crime as drug and arms trafficking, extortion, human smuggling and trafficking, and kidnapping.

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Cover image for Terrorist Criminal Enterprises

June 2018


Pages 212
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Security Studies/Terrorism

This cohesive set of case studies collects scholarly research, policy evaluation, and field experience to explain how terrorist groups have developed into criminal enterprises.

Terrorist groups have evolved from orthodox global insurgents funded by rogue sponsors into nimble and profitable transnational criminal enterprises whose motivations are not always evident. This volume seeks to explain how and why terrorist groups are often now criminal enterprises through 12 case studies of terrorist criminal enterprises written by authors who have derived their expertise on terrorism and/or organized crime from diverse sources. Terrorist groups have been chosen from different regions to provide the global coverage.

Chapters describe and analyze the actors, actions, problems, and collaborations of specific terrorist criminal enterprises. Other elements discussed include links to such facilitating conditions as political culture, corruption, history, economy, and issues of governance. This work advances scholarship in the field of counterterrorism by expanding the understanding of these terrorist groups as entities not driven purely by ideology but rather by the criminal enterprises with which they often coincide.


  • Provides a global comparison of major terrorist groups and their engagement in organized crime
  • Provides in-depth analysis of regional terrorist and criminal groups
  • Incorporates authors' expertise on regional terrorist groups and organized crime
  • Acknowledges a variety of opinions and perspectives
Series Description

Praeger Security International

As the world gets "smaller" through technology and globalization, the security risks we face grow and multiply.

International security in the 21st century is not a topic that can be adequately addressed in nightly news soundbites or online articles intended to be relevant for 24 hours or less. Comprehending these complex issues requires insight from foreign policy specialists, diplomats, military officials, peace scholars, historians, and security experts—participants and observers on all sides of each conflict. This series provides the tools for understanding security issues in our uncertain, unstable world.

Written by subject experts and well-known researchers, the books in the Praeger Security International series give readers access to carefully considered and highly informed viewpoints on the critical security issues that threaten to destabilize our world. With titles authored by diplomats, first responders, economists, journalists, civil servants, military leaders and combatants, legal experts, psychologists, and other knowledgeable specialists, these books offer in-depth reflections, thorough analysis, and international perspectives that are unavailable in mass media. These titles represent an invaluable resource for students and researchers as well as anyone who seeks a deeper understanding of the complex issues that affect our lives and future.


  • Provides reliable, comprehensive information on all matters relating to security that is ideal for students, teachers, researchers, and professionals
  • Offers insightful commentaries written by a diverse group of scholars and experts who provide interdisciplinary treatments of newsworthy events and important historical occurrences
Author Info

Kimberley L. Thachuk, PhD, is a senior analyst and educator focusing on transnational security issues, including organized crime and terrorism; human, drug, and arms trafficking; and environmental, health, and energy issues. She served as the National Counterintelligence Officer for Transnational Issues at the Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive and as a senior analyst at a number of intelligence community locations. For over a decade prior to this, she was a senior research professor and policy analyst directing projects on transnational threats in the Department of Defense. She currently teaches at both George Washington and Johns Hopkins universities.

Rollie Lal, PhD, is professorial lecturer at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University, where she teaches graduate courses on Transnational Threats and International Political Economy. Her research focuses on organized crime, terrorism, religious extremism, and energy. Dr. Lal has served as a professor at the U.S. Department of Defense and in Gent, Belgium, and St. Petersburg, Russia. From 2002–2006, Lal was a political scientist at RAND. She is author of several books. Her work has appeared in Yomiuri Shimbun, Financial Times, and The New York Times.



"Intriguing and compelling. . . . Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty."Choice

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