We have heard several definitions of “narcoterrorism” in different media. The Oxford dictionary gives the most comprehensive description (1999): “Terrorism associated with the trade in illicit drugs.” It does not indicate whether ideological, political, criminal, or commercial motives are the main driving factors.
The debate on counter activities against narcoterrorism is parallel to the debate on countermeasures against the global illegal drug trade. The consumer countries, mainly industrial or post-industrial, locate the problem with the producer countries and their production and distribution of illicit drugs. They call for eliminating the issue “at source”, e.g., by crop destruction by police and customs action. Strict actions against the illegal production and distribution of drugs should be implemented. The producer countries, mainly developing countries, point to the demand in the consumer countries as the driving force for the illegal trade. They call for the consumer countries to reduce their demand to dry up the industry, e.g., by prevention, treatment, and local drug enforcement.
How effective is the DEA’s work on narcoterrorism in thwarting terrorist activities? What other strategies could be used against groups like ISIS, whose funding comes from oil revenues and taxes, not drug trafficking?
After 9/11, in the USA, the Drug Enforcement Administration reframed its mission warning that terrorists a the illegal drug trade to finance their attacks. From al Qaeda and the Taliban to Hezbollah and the FARC, the agency has pursued drug trafficking charges associated with many terrorist groups. While the two may be related in some regions, such as Colombia and Afghanistan, questions have arisen around the scope of narcoterrorism.
Government alone cannot control drug trafficking or the drug mafia in high business. The public should unite to curb drug sales and drug use and rehabilitate drug victims.
1. Public opinion against the non-medical use of drugs (controlled substances) should emphasize that there is a funding channel for narcoterrorism that helps other forms of organized crime.
2. Governments’drug prevention and intervention strategies should focus on diminishing the drug demand among drug abusers.
3. Successful “model projects” in drug prevention, intervention, and treatment (e.g., by police or customs authorities, social services, and schools) should be recorded, evaluated, and presented for adoption elsewhere.
4. Monitoring and coordination of measures and their effectiveness should become a more integrated part of the strategic intelligence service in the drug control and enforcement field.
5. Measures against money laundering should be incorporated more actively in any investigation and prosecution of drug crimes and drug-related crimes.
Lest the narco-terrorism is the dubious and dangerous weapon, destroying many countries and culture, through the greedy terrorists and ignorant youngsters worldwide!
Dr. Mathew Joys