Transnational organized crime and new terrorism in Sri Lanka: a nexus?
Panditha, Wickramasekara Ajith
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Distinctions between organized crime and new terrorism, as distinguished from old terrorism in cause and effect, have increasingly become blurred. In this context, Sri Lanka has become a vulnerable transshipment hub for transnational organized crime (TOC). This study questions how and why TOC and new terrorism might converge in Sri Lanka and proposes three hypotheses. First, new terrorism often avails itself of the means and methods of organized crime. Second, increasing TOC and the existing ethnic and religious disharmony pose a national security risk in Sri Lanka, increasing its vulnerability to new terrorism. Third, a lack of national strategies have prevented Sri Lanka from harnessing the instruments of national power to the fullest effect. A case study evaluates al Qaeda and Abu Sayyaf Group as potential examples of a TOC-new terrorism nexus. The thesis statistically proves the increasing TOC trends and provides evidence on the emerging roots of Islamic radicalization that might lead to new terrorism. The thesis concludes with several recommendations for the national security of Sri Lanka.
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