Counter-Terrorism: February 3, 2005

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Islamic terrorists have long relied on criminal organizations for help, and theres been an alarming increase in their use of people smugglers to move terrorists to Western countries. Normally, most criminals will not knowingly get involved with terrorists. The heat from law enforcement agencies is not worth the opportunity to make another illicit deal. People smugglers are also wary of dealing with terrorists, and many of these smuggling operations prefer to know the old country kin of the people they are moving. This makes it easier to collect the high fees charged to move illegal migrants long distances and across heavily guarded borders. But not all people smugglers are that careful, or as put off by the greater danger entailed from moving terrorists. In turn, the terrorists will try to pass themselves off as non-terrorist migrants, or will simply pay a premium to get the smugglers to cooperate. The smuggling operations are also a source of false documents, and terrorists are getting what they need from this source as well. The smuggling of illegal migrants is a huge business, second only to moving illegal drugs, and in most cases, more profitable. While its more difficult to move people, the billions of dollars in fees has attracted hundreds of well organized criminal organizations to the business. Its politically popular, in the receiving nations, to crack down on the smuggling, so counter-terrorist organizations are likely to get more resources to go after the people smugglers. But it is also unlikely that these efforts will stop all the smuggling.

 


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