Illicit networks targeting the nexus between terrorists, proliferators, and narcotraffickers
Dietz, Rebekah K.
Davis, Zachary S.
Denning, Dorothy E.
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Globalization and the liberal international marketplace have provided fertile ground for the rise of transnational and non-state actors. Unfortunately, while states and businesses have profited from the increased fluidity of borders and the rise of global commerce, so have the criminal organizations that threaten national and international security. These illicit networks are stateless; they conduct their business in failed or failing states, under the guise of legitimate commerce, and without regard to sovereign borders or even human life. They are the main facilitators of proliferation, terrorism, and narcotics around the world--undeterred and, perhaps, undeterrable. This thesis offers a comparative analysis of three main types of illicit networks: terrorist, proliferation and narcotics networks. Using Jemaah Islamiyah, the A.Q. Khan proliferation network, and the MedelliÌ n drug 'cartel' as case studies, it examines their typologies, motivations, structures, characteristics, and sources and patterns of funding. It examines if and how illicit networks overlap, with special attention to intra-network (e.g., terrorist networks with other terrorist networks) and inter-network (e.g., terrorist networks with narcotics networks) overlap. It then explores how this information can inform U.S. counter-network activity.
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