Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Drugs and Terror

From US News, the December 5, 2005 issue, comes a story by David E. Kaplan about how the jihadist groups are financing their terrorist attacks.

The story, “Paying for Terror”, points to the ties between terrorists and organized crime. There are three main ways terrorists get their cash:

  • drugs
  • illegal aliens and other forms of people smuggling
  • fraud
The drug dealers aren’t just Afghanis moving opium, or Columbians hustling cocaine, but include other drugs, including ecstasy.

According to the article,
The prime training ground for Europe’s jihadist criminals may well be prison.

There are no hard numbers, but as much as half of France’s prison population is now believed to be Muslim.
Al Qaeda is an exception to the drug involvement, according to the report.
Long ago, al Qaeda strategists reasoned that drug trafficking would expose them to possible detection, captives have told U.S. interrogators.

They also don’t trust many of the big drug barons, intelligence officials say, and have encouraged their members not to get involved with them.
I’ve long been wary of the libertarian philosophy that drug use is a victimless crime. I saw the aftermath of drug use in my students’ lives – either directly, as users, or indirectly, as children of users, or neighbors of users. Granted, this was an inner city neighborhood, but even in the ‘burbs, chemical use creates a special kind of havoc in the lives of the users, family, and friends.

I haven’t accessed the article on the web. I found it in the library at school. Do check it out – it’s compelling, and may, with luck, change the perceptions of decision-makers, at least enough to consider changing tactics in this war on terror.

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