Terrorism and Transnational Crime: Foreign Policy Issues for Congress [October 19, 2012] [open pdf - 484KB]
From the Summary: "This report provides an overview of transnational security issues related to patterns of interaction among international terrorist and crime groups. In addition, the report discusses the U.S. government's perception of and response to the threat. It concludes with an analysis of foreign policy options. In recent years, the U.S. government has asserted that terrorism, insurgency, and crime interact in varied and significant ways, to the detriment of U.S. national security interests. Although unclassified anecdotal evidence largely serves as the basis for the current understanding of criminal-terrorist connections, observers often focus on several common patterns. [...] To combat these apparent criminal-terrorist connections, Congress has maintained a role in formulating U.S. policy responses. Moreover, recent Administrations have issued several strategic documents to guide U.S. national security, counterterrorism, anti-crime, and intelligence activities. […] While the U.S. government has maintained substantial long-standing efforts to combat terrorism and transnational crime separately, Congress has been challenged to evaluate whether the existing array of authorities, programs, and resources sufficiently respond to the combined crime-terrorism threat. Common foreign policy options have centered on diplomacy, foreign assistance, financial actions, intelligence, military action, and investigations. At issue for Congress is how to conceptualize this complex crime-terrorism phenomenon and oversee the implementation of cross-cutting activities that span geographic regions, functional disciplines, and a multitude of policy tools that are largely dependent on effective interagency coordination and international cooperation."
CRS Report for Congress, R41004