Attributes of organized crime &Terriorism

1: List and briefly discuss eight attributes of Organized Crime (OC).

They have non-ideological motives

The organized crimes are not aligned to any political ideology or group. They do not target any political or ideological groups therefore are not designed to help foster any political group. These groups are motivated by the earning and in most case, they would deal in drugs, heist, and even cyber crime to get the money and not involve in any political uprising.

They exhibit continuity over long period

This organized crime can demonstrate a perpetual growth and existence because they have clear succession plan. Most o the organized crimes are run by families and their gang. They have respect for anything and in most case; they are more organized than a traditional gang is. Their organized hierarchy makes them more of a formal organization than informal and the authority structures are clear. Their reporting structure makes the group’s leader the key authority that makes all decisions (Varese, 2010;

They are using tactical and strategic planning to reach their goals.

Organized crime is not easily netted because they have both long term and short term strategic plan. One of the most important facts about the organized crimes s that they can plan and are always one-step ahead. They have both tactical and contingent plan that they can pursue in the event of one plan going sour (Weisberg, 2003).

Rule and code

These organized crimes have specific rules and code of secrecy that govern them. Al the group member is aware of the group’s codes and rules of secrecy. They are also ware of the consequences of contravening any of these rules. The consequences that are clearly delineated to them are the main pillars of the groups that keep them effective and respe3cted. In the United States, organized crimes are mainly conducted by mafia families and Mexicans and they are very daring because the consequences of cowardice are so dire (Valdez, 2007).

They seek monopoly

Organized crime either seeks to monopolize products’ supply in the market or a service supply in the market. For example, while they are likely to deal in drugs, they want to monopolize the market and his is the main reason why organized crime is always fighting each other’s in a bid to eliminate competition.

Employ corruption for immunity and control

Organize crimes use a number of tactics, but the main tactics that keep them in the market is corruption. These organized crimes are likely to gain immunity in the event of legal problems such as murder and theft and are always in control of even the whole police department. They invest in the movers and shakers of the community in which they operate as a way of maintaining control. The police are likely to look the opposite directing in the event of any member of an organize crime being caught (White, 2004)

Restrict membership

Organized crimes are mainly characterized by few members. Form examp0lel these groups restrict membership to a few people they trust as opposed to many they do not trust. The groups restricts membership to only daring people are likely to maintain power within a family

Diversity in business

These groups engage in a number of activities. For example, they provide good and services that are needed by the community and may do these businesses in an international scale. It is also, important to note that these groups can manage a whole economy because they provide only a wide range of essential goods and services. They also use legal business as disguise or fronts for their illegal businesses. For example, they use bars, hotels, and even cleaning companies as their front office to run their businesses.


White, Jn (2004) Defending the Homeland – Domestic Intelligence, Law Enforcement, and Security. Wadsworth.

Weisberg, R. (2003). Norms and criminal law, and the norms of criminal law scholarship. Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology , 93(2/3), 467

Valdez, A. (2007).Gangs across America: History and sociology. LawTech Custom Publishing:San Clemente, CA.

Varese, F. (2010).Organized crime: Critical concepts in criminology. Routledge: London

2: Investigate and then report on how terrorism differs from organized crime.


Organized crimes and terrorism differ in terms of their goals and objectives. Form example, while organized rime are mainly financially motivated, the terrorist are mainly ideologically motivated. The terrorist groups and the organized crime differ in objectives terms. The terrorist are motivated by the advancement of their political ideologies. Unlike the organized crimes, their acts are political and are mainly against the west’s ideologies. This is the main reason why the Somalia Alshabab and the al-Qaida in Afghanistan fight the west- political and ideological differences

Extensive peripheral network

Organized crime relies on an extensive peripheral network they use to ensure smooth operations, while the terrorist do not need an extensive peripheral network. For example, terrorist are likely to have their own means of transportation because they do not want to be caught and their operations are required to remain secret, on the other hand, the organized crimes need to have in place an extensive peripheral network composed of banker, policemen, shop manger and even politician s to protect their core operations. They want to maintain control of the street.

No corruption

Terrorist groups are less likely to use open means to gain access. For example, they believe that they are working for Allah and this does not require corruption. Terrorist are less likely to bribe their way because this is not right before God. Terrorist groups are also more politically and religiously aligned as compared to the organized crimes. While, the organized crime are motivated by control, and financial earning, the terrorist groups are motivated by their worshiping of god, the right of their people are the fist against oppression. The US believes that the Islamic community is the main terrorist and this has lead to sectarian war, and bombing of a number of US interest in international countries. There are many a time that the terrorist have bombed the US embassy as a way of fighting for the release of the prisoners of war.

As part of your response, include the ways they overlap?
Many terrorist groups tend to use the organized crimes and criminal activities to advance the political agenda. For example, in Colombia, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) were known to kidnap children from rich families and traded in illegal arms and bombs in order to raise extra funds to run their operations. They transported the bombs and the guns to the known al-Qaida bases and get hefty compensation in return. Additionaly, in Afghanistan, there are Islamic terrorist who planted hectares of bhang that they traded with the organized crimes groups in a number of countries to get money for their terrorism operations (Rogers, 2007, pp. 19-30).

Terrorists and organized criminals have same primary motivation. For example, their primary motivation is to gain operational efficiencies and have access to primary necessities such as small arms, passports, untapped communication as well as smooth transportation. These primary motivators are the key factors that link the organized criminal and the terrorist groups as they can provide support to each other in exchange of in kind payment. Organized crime is involved in passport and travel document’s ring, while the terrorist groups provide the small arms for controlling the trade. This can be clearly seen in the operations between the Balkan criminals and the Russian organized crime gangs (Useem, &, Clayton, 2009, pp. 561–592).


Rogers, J. (2007). Gangs and terrorists in the Americas: An unlikely nexus. Journal of Gang Research, 14 (2), 19-30.

Useem, B. and Clayton, O. (2009). Radicalization of U.S. prisoners. Criminology & PublicPolicy, 8 (3), 561–592. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-9133.2009.00574.x


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