Friday, December 7, 2007

Crimes Committed By Terrorist Groups (DOJ Study)

Published in 2005, this report has a number of interesting insights into criminal activity and terrorists. From the Summary (which is full of fascinating stuff):

"International jihad groups are statistically more likely than domestic right-wing groups to
commit aircraft and motor vehicle-related crimes; violations of explosive materials; and firearms
violations. Right-wing domestic groups are more likely to commit mail fraud; racketeering;
robbery/burglary; and violations involving machine guns and destructive devices."

"A clear pattern of precursor activity across diverse terrorist organizations is discovered. The study shows that all terrorist organizations require money, material, transportation, identity documents, communication systems, and safe havens to accomplish their aims. Crimes that finance these operations should be the top priority for investigators."

"The study indicates that bank robbery, credit card theft, document counterfeiting, motor vehicle violations, and money laundering are the types of crimes that those charged with combating terrorism should focus on."

"Jihad groups rely on low-level operatives to perform menial criminal acts necessary for a terrorist attack. They are recruited less for their criminal skills than for their connections to local
communities and attendant opportunities to exploit routine activities. Jihad leaders with
specialized training are responsible for successes in the areas of surveillance, financing,
communications, breaching airline security, smuggling explosives, and bomb-building."

"Unlike the jihadists, domestic right-wing groups recruit individuals specifically for their
criminal skills."

"The greatest failures of jihad groups involve cultural conflicts that manifest themselves
in such seemingly innocuous crimes as passport fraud, immigration infractions, and traffic

"Domestic terrorists fail in different ways. They are failures when it comes to
counterfeiting, theft, arson, constructing weapons of mass destruction, and maintaining internal
security. Yet their greatest failure has been the showcasing of imagery and style.'

"One of the most compelling findings of the research is the discovery of attempts
made by domestic terrorists to forge alliances with international jihad groups."

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