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Crime Terror Nexus

The project examined the nature and severity of the threat posed by the crime-terror nexus across Europe and the capacity of state actors, along with non-governmental organisations and frontline practitioners, to deal with this challenge, and looked at ten case studies: Albania, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Sweden, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. The findings were pulbished in “Guns and Glory: Criminality, imprisonment and jihadist extremism in Europe” and launched at a high-level conference in Brussels on 24 September 2019.

This project looks at the evolving relationship between terrorism and crime, which poses a significant challenge to Europe, with the activities and milieu of terrorists and criminals increasingly overlapping and reinforcing each other. Many of today’s European jihadists, including those who have perpetrated terrorist attacks, and foreign terrorist fighters have a criminal record, having already spent time in prison. Criminals have been particularly attractive candidates for recruitment into jihad by the so-called Islamic State (ISIS), as they have important skill sets and useful broader criminal connections. These skills have been used to facilitate terrorist attacks, including helping to finance operations, smuggling operatives, procuring arms, and obtaining forged documents.


Deputy Head of Europe in the World Programme and Senior Policy Analyst
Turkey, Ukraine, South Caucasus, security and conflict resolution in the Black Sea, EU foreign policy in its Eastern neighbourhood, Enlargement, counter-violent extremism

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