From Theory to Practice: Exploring the Organised Crime-Terror Nexus in Sub-Saharan Africa

Annette Hübschle


 A growing body of scholarly literature suggests confluence or even convergence of organized crime and terrorism in various parts of the world. However, links remain somewhat nebulous at this stage and vary considerably, based on region and context. Africa has come under the spotlight due to perceived weaknesses in the criminal justice sector, limited law enforcement capacity, political and systemic corruption, poor border patrol and weak anti-terror and organized crime laws which are believed to provide an ideal environment for the terror-crime nexus to flourish. This article provides an African perspective on the links between organized crime and terror networks in Sub-Saharan Africa, with a particular focus on Southern Africa. The discussion begins with an overview of the theoretical discourse on the subject – relying on African definitions of the contested concepts of ‘terrorism’ and ‘organized crime’ – and will then narrow the analysis on the sub-Saharan case. It relies on an extensive literature review and concludes with empirical findings of a research project on organized crime in Southern Africa, which found no strong empirical links between criminal and terrorist organizations.

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Perspectives on Terrorism is  a journal of the Terrorism Research Initiative and the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies

ISSN  2334-3745 (Online)

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