The linkages between terrorism and organized crime represent a serious threat to international security and development and is an issue of growing concern for the international community. Member States have expressed increasing concerns about terrorists benefiting from organized crime as a source of financing or logistical support. These relate to trafficking in arms, persons, drugs, artifacts, cultural property, natural resources and wildlife; the abuse of legitimate commercial enterprise and of non-profit organizations; illicit donations and crowdfunding; and other proceeds of criminal activity, including kidnapping for ransom, extortion, bank robbery, as well as piracy and armed robbery at sea.
The United Nations has addressed this issue through an increasing number of resolutions, including Security Council resolutions 2482 (2019) and 2462 (2019) and the seventh review of the United Nations Global Strategy (GA 75/291) in 2021.
The nexus between terrorist groups and criminal networks is undermining stability and development efforts in many countries of the world.
These issues are particularly relevant for Africa, which faces a growing terrorism threat and has recognized the need to address the phenomenon. Given that the African region faces ever-increasing terrorist violence, addressing these challenges and the relevant security threats is one of the key priorities identified during the 2021 Global Counter-Terrorism Review.
To respond to this need, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) – two leading agencies working in this field – support Member States by sharing knowledge and expertise, enhancing capacity and promoting a comprehensive approach to prevent and counter the linkages between terrorism and transnational organized crime.
Within this framework, UNODC and UNICRI held a workshop in the capital of Mauritania, Nouakchott, on 25-29 October. The workshop, conducted in partnership with the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, was attended by 25 participants representing different national law enforcement agencies, including the Ministry of Justice, the National Security, the National Gendarmerie, the Customs, and the Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Unit.
Aim of the workshop was to discuss the national and international legal framework to counter the phenomenon and to present good practices and challenges in the area of judicial cooperation.
The workshop represented an important opportunity to consult with the Mauritanian authorities and join forces. Enhancing capacities to identify the linkages and convergent areas between transnational organized crime and terrorism, as well as the factors that facilitate such convergences; strengthening coordination and cooperation between the stakeholders are crucial steps for an effective response to tackle this global phenomenon.