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Part I General Questions, 5 Transnational Organised Crime and Terrorism

Bettina Weißer

From: International Law and Transnational Organised Crime

Edited By: Pierre Hauck, Sven Peterke

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 04 December 2020

Organized crime — Terrorism — Drug trafficking

Traditionally, organised crime and terrorism were understood as offences that exclude one another mutually. While a core element of terrorist crimes is the use of violence, organised crime does not necessarily involve violence. The characteristic element of transnational organised crime (TOC) on the other hand is the perpetrator’s aim to generate (illicit) profits. This chapter argues that nowadays this formerly clear distinction becomes more and more outdated: the line between terrorism and TOC becomes blurred since terrorist organisations seek to finance their activities by an engagement on the field of organised crime. Starting with a brief sketch of the historical evolution of terrorism, the chapter outlines the defining elements of terrorist crimes under international law and also describes remaining definitional problems. Links between TOC and terrorism are highlighted—they generate a growing nexus between the two phenomena.

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