Al-Shabaab and Boko Haram are heavily dependent on income from illegal acts such as human and drug trafficking.
On 26 September, IPSS held a briefing session on the topic of “Organized Transnational Crime and its Nexus with Terrorism and Violent Extremism” featuring the following panellists: Brigadier General (rtd) Saleh Bala, President of White Ink Institute for Strategic Education and Research (WISER); Mr. Francis Xavier Rwego, Special Representative of INTERPOL to the African Union; and Mr. Omar S. Mahmood, Senior Researcher at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS).
The session was opened by Mr. Frank Djan Owusu, Programme Manager of the Executive Master’s in Managing Peace and Security in Africa (MPSA).
Transnational crime was defined as the unlawful use of force or indiscriminate violence by internationally-linked groups against persons and properties in different parts of the world to cause psychological and economic impact. Committed by crossing borders or jurisdictions, transnational crime is often perpetuated by organized criminal groups with the aim of committing serious crimes or offenses in order to directly or indirectly obtain financial or other material benefits. Globalization, the rise in the number and heterogeneity of immigrants, and improved communications technology, are three factors that have contributed to the growth of transnational crime.
Transnational crimes are also becoming more modern and technologically advanced. Al-Shabaab and Boko Haram are heavily dependent on income from illegal acts such as human and drug trafficking. Even after the death of their leaders, both groups continue to collect dues from their members and the general civilian population.
In conclusion, the panellists recommended that in order to manage organized crime, safe and secure environments, more economic investment, and widening of the tax base should be prioritized. They further emphasized the importance of extradition rules for terrorist actors as one of the main resolutions in fighting terrorism.