Counter-Terrorism: Terrorists Forced Into a Life of Crime

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April 1, 2006: The recent announcement by Basque terrorist group ETA that they were, basically, shutting down, won't mean the end of the organization as far as the police are concerned. Like many other terrorist organizations, the ETA has been turning into a purely criminal operation as well. Terrorist organizations have expenses. Money is usually obtained by stealing it. In the past year alone, in northern Spain's "Basque Country", about two businesses a month were firebombed for refusing to pay "taxes" to the ETA. It's likely that a lot of this extortion will continue. Some ETA operatives also ran other types of criminal activities, like smuggling. The ETA experience is similar to that found with the Irish IRA, the Italian Mafia (which should have gone out of business over a century ago, when the modern state of Italy was established), as well as similar Albanian, Burmese, Indian and Sri Lankan outfits.

With the war on terror, and increasing pressure on known terrorists, moving right along, many terrorists are officially, or unofficially, getting out of the terror business, and sticking to their criminal scams. Too much heat for terrorists, and actually less for common criminals, because of all the police manpower diverted to counter-terrorism work.

 


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