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Human Security in the Western Balkan Region: the impact of transnational terrorist and criminal orga

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Title: Human Security in the Western Balkan Region: the impact of transnational terrorist and criminal orga


1
Human Security in the Western Balkan Region the
impact of transnational terrorist and criminal
organizations on the peace-building process of
the regionDissemination ConferenceBrussels, 23
24 April 2009
  • UNHOLY ALLIANCES EVIDENCE ON LINKAGES BETWEEN
    TRANS-STATE TERRORISM AND CRIME NETWORKS
  • (The case of Bosnia)
  • By
  • Lyubov Mincheva, University of Sofia, Bulgaria/
    IRIS
  • Ted Robert Gurr, University of Maryland, USA

2
Introduction (1) Why researching the nexus
between terrorism and crime in the Western
Balkans (Bosnia)?
  • Two reasons determined the selection of this
    research topic. The practical reason is human
    insecurity in Bulgaria, a homeland for one author
    of the UA chapter and a country in the so-called
    outer-belt of the Eastern Balkans, including
    Romania, Macedonia and Albania, that bordered the
    post-Yugoslav republics but themselves were not
    directly involved in the Yugoslav armed
    conflicts. Human insecurity in Bulgaria is a
    serious problem! Why? From the early 1990s until
    very recently Bulgaria has been engulfed by
    chaos, ungovernability, and sporadic gangsters
    wars. The countrys criminal record can be
    attributed to (a) the post-communist transition
    to market economies in the Balkans jointly with
    (b) the 1990s conflicts in the Western Balkans.
  • Our most recent research in criminal networks,
    ethnonationalism and the role of the state in
    Eastern Europe, completed in February 2009,
    showed that Bulgarias most influential economic
    structure - the so called market of violence -
    has used for more than a decade, beginning in the
    early 1990s, its trans-state criminal networks,
    established at the time of the Bosnian war, for
    purposes of illicit business activities with
    countries from the Western Balkans and Europe.
    Look at Bulgarias criminal statistics

3
Introduction-2 Why researching the nexus between
terrorism and crime inthe Western Balkans
(Bosnia)?
  • As of the mid-1990s Bulgarias income from the
    black market in stolen autos was estimated to be
    somewhere between BGL 150 160 million. This
    amounted to 1 of the GNP
  • Bulgarias annual revenue received from heroin
    consumption is estimated to be somewhere between
    BGL 32 million 105 million. (Estimations made
    as of 2007).
  • Bulgarias annual revenue received from the
    consumption of amphetamine is estimated to be
    between BGL 21 million 43 million. (Estimations
    made as of 2007).
  • Bulgarias annual revenue from cannabis
    consumption is estimated to vary between BGL 50
    million 66 million, while cocaine consumption
    is estimated to vary between BGL 10 million to 20
    million. (Estimations made as of 2007).
  • Bulgaria not least is estimated to be receiving
    somewhere between E 180 million to E 360 million
    from trafficking of women alone.
  • Data from Bezlov, T., Tzenkov, E., Tzvetkova,
    M., Gounev., F., Petrunov, G. (eds.).(2007).
    Organized Crime in Bulgaria Markets and Trends.
    Sofia Center for the Study of Democracy.
  • Maps reprinted from Haidinjak, M.(2002). The
    Contraband Channels in South East Europe. The
    Conflicts in Yugoslavia and the Emergence of the
    Regional Criminal Networks. Sofia Center for the
    Study of Democracy.

4
Human security in the outer-belt countries
Number of organized crime attacks in BG
5
Trafficking of Cocaine and Marihuana in South
East Europe ... South American
cocaine _____ local production of marihuana
6
Trafficking of drugs and their production in
Bulgaria
7
Introduction-3 Why researching the nexus between
terrorism and crime in the Western Balkans
(Bosnia)?
  • So, our interest in researching the nexus between
    crime and terrorism in the Western Balkans,
    Bosnia in particular, was motivated by practical
    considerations related to human insecurity in the
    outer-belt Balkan countries , Bulgaria
    included.
  • The second reason which has driven us to join the
    HUMSEC network is purely academic. The UA chapter
    is also a part of the Unholy Alliances project.
    This is a Bulgarian- American academic research
    project, directed by the two authors of the
    presented book Chapter. The project examines the
    political economy of militant transborder
    identity movements in the Balkans and the Islamic
    world. Previous research was centered on the
    political-criminal networks of the Kosovo
    Albanians transborder movement as well as
    networks established by the Kurdish Workers Party
    (PKK). Our most recent study on Bulgaria was
    focused on the role of the state in shaping
    illicit market opportunities. Publications are
    accessible at
  • http//www.allacademic.com/meta/p254230_index.html
  • http//www.allacademic.com/meta/p178915_index.html
  • http//www.cidcm.umd.edu/publications/papers/unhol
    y_alliances.pdf
  • http//convention2.allacademic.com/one/isa/isa09/i
    ndex.php?click_key1PHPSESSID991eb8a2ba041a78304
    fe633f4ea60d7

8
The State of the Art Book Chapter Conditioning
the interaction of crime and terrorism (in Bosnia)
  • We examine Bosnias terrorism- crime connection
    tracking the emergence and evolution of Bosnias
    trans-state Islamic identity movement from the
    beginning of the Bosnian war until 2007. We
    assume that trans-state identity movements
    including religious, ethnic, and ethnonational
    ones - provide settings for collaboration between
    the political and the criminal at times of armed
    conflict (and after). They are conditioned by the
    interplay of market opportunities and
    constraints.
  • Our theoretical model consists of three key
    elements
  • Availability of trans-border identity networks.
    This is our primary condition.
  • Ongoing Armed conflict. This is a necessary
    condition.
  • Interaction of market opportunities and market
    constraints, defined in terms of complex
    transnational commodities exchange and
    interdiction by security forces.

9
The State of the Art Book Chapter The
establishment of a trans-state Islamic identity
movement in Bosnia
  • Bosnians were known as secular and close to the
    European liberal democratic tradition. However
    identity changed, as shown by comparative
    statistical data from 1985 and 2004. The
    percentage of religious believers increased from
    17 to 78 over these two decades. We attribute
    the establishment of trans-state Islamic identity
    movement in Bosnia to three factors
  • Number one was the formation of the Bosniak
    national identity whose core element was Islam.
    Islam was mainly used in Bosnia within a national
    context. However, the Bosnian national movement
    was used by transnational Islamic movement to
    gain a foothold in the Balkans.
  • Number two was the global revival of Islam and
    the spread of Islamic advocacy networks
    everywhere Muslim communities exist.
  • Number three was the Bosnian war, the arms
    embargo imposed on Yugoslavia, and the arrival in
    Bosnia, early in the war, of nearly 3,000
    radical Islamic fighters or mujahideen of Middle
    Eastern and North African origin.

10
The State of the Art Book Chapter The evolution
of trans-state identity movement in Bosnia
  • We identify two major steps in the development of
    trans-state Islamic identity movement in Bosnia.
  • Step one is, the use of religion in support of
    national consolidation at the time of the Bosnian
    war. Major actor in this process was the ruling
    party of Democratic Action, which opened Bosnias
    doors to transnational Islamic advocacy networks.
    This process accounts for Islamic revivalism.
  • Step two is, the partial penetration of society
    by fundamentalist Islamic culture in post-Dayton
    Bosnia. The linkage between the political and the
    criminal was strengthened after 1996 with the
    settlement of former mujahideen in the country
    and the establishment of branches of Islamic
    charities, some of them allegedly linked to al
    Qaeda network.
  • A key issue for this research is, what role
    played the Islamska Zaednica, the local Islamic
    Community, in the establishment of cooperative
    relations with trans-state advocacy Islamic
    networks?

11
The State of the Art Book Chapter The role of
the local Islamic Community in the evolution of
Bosnias trans-state Islamic movement
  • Our research shows how the local Islamic
    Community and the trans-national Islamic advocacy
    networks have interacted, but also conflicted on
    a number of issues. The major issue of discord
    is, What should be the dominating religious
    doctrine Sufism or Salafism?
  • Cooperation, as well as frictions, created
    opportunities for the penetration of Bosnian
    society by the trans-state Islamic advocacy
    movement. To mention a few
  • Cooperation the trans-state Islamic advocacy
    network provides funds that are administered
    through the Islamic Community. Funds are being
    spent among all else for the Islamic education of
    young Bosniaks abroad. Some of the latter have
    been employed by the Islamic Community upon their
    return home.
  • Contention internal frictions within the
    Islamska Zaednica lead to the establishment of
    independent local Islamic cultural centers that
    act independently. They can easily fall under
    foreign influence. Examples are the Active
    Islamic Youth (AIY), the Furquan.

12
The State of the Art Book Chapter The
interaction of market opportunities and
constraints. Opportunities increase
  • Market opportunities for collaboration between
    the political and the criminal increased
    significantly after the end of the Bosnian war.
    Why? The increase of market opportunities goes
    alongside the evolution of Bosnias trans-state
    Islamic movement. Most endangered is reportedly
    the Salafi dominated area of central Bosnia. It
    hosts a number of mosques, relief organizations
    and other agencies of unknown origin.
  • Market opportunities increase with the
    establishment of local offices of Islamic
    charities in Bosnia that promote Salafist
    doctrines, such as the al Haramain Foundation
    the Society for the Revival of Islamic Culture,
    and the High Saudi Committee for Help to Bosnia.
    Charitable organizations operating in Bosnia also
    are suspected of financing terrorist activities
    outside the country.
  • Market opportunities arguably (?) increased after
    the war with the settlement of former mujahideen
    in Bosnia. Some analysts think that the militants
    concentrated in central Bosnia and formed small
    societies closed to outsiders. They are thought
    to be active in the establishment of radical
    Islamic groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood (an
    offspring of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood),
    established in 2002 in Sarajevo and targeting the
    families of Muslim returnees.

13
The State of the Art Book Chapter The
interaction of market opportunities and
constraints. The imposition of legal and market
constraints by Bosnian authorities
  • Our research shows that the Bosnian government
    has significantly raised its legal and
    institutional capabilities to combat terrorism
    and organized crime since 09/11. We look at state
    and foreign initiatives, aimed at the
    centralization of key state institutions and
    agencies, including
  • The establishment of the State Court of BiH and
    the Prosecutors Office the Intelligence and
    Security Agency of BiH state-level ministries of
    defence and security.
  • We also look at newly adopted legislation
    establishing procedures for detecting, preventing
    and investigating money laundering and terrorism
    funding.
  • Also relevant are the NATO proposed defense
    reform initiatives, as well as at the EU proposed
    police reform package.
  • Our conclusion despite new measures aimed at
    institutional centralization, Bosnia remains a
    weak state that presents an attractive
    environment for those seeking to launch terrorist
    operations, or illicit business activities, or
    both jointly.

14
The State of the Art Book Chapter Evidence on
linkages between trans-state terrorism and
criminal networks
  • The instances, demonstrating the potential for
    terror-crime linkages in Bosnia discussed in this
    chapter, include
  • The treat of terrorist attacks against the
    Embassies of the US and the UK in Sarajevo on 17
    October, 2001.
  • The arrest warrant for Bosnian residents
    suspected of planning bomb attacks, including
    Bensayah Belcacem, identified as a high-ranking
    figure in al Qaeda and as having personal
    connections to bin Laden.
  • The radicalization of the local Islamic group,
    the Active Islamic Youth, and the increasing
    opportunities for fusion of local Islamic
    agencies with global terrorist networks.
  • Counter-measures include police raids and
    closures of agencies involved in illegal business
    activities of foreign Islamic charities, some of
    them suspected of funding terrorist activities
    outside Bosnia. An example is the Haramain
    Islamic Foundation, whose Bosnian branch is
    reportedly tied to al-Gamaat Islamiya, an
    Egyptian group that works closely with bin Laden.

15
The State of the Art Book Chapter Concluding
remarks
  • This chapter summarizes major findings related to
    the role of trans-state identity movements in
    facilitating cooperation between terrorism and
    crime. Our findings draw on comparison of three
    trans-state identity movements, including the
    Bosnian Islamic trans-state movement the
    trans-state movement of the ethnic Albanians,
    centered on the conflict in Kosovo and the
    trans-state Kurdish movement, centered on the
    conflict of the Kurdish Workers Party with
    Turkey. The findings are these
  • Driven by economic and political reasons related
    to conflict (ethno)national movements are
    interested in the establishment of collaborative
    relations with trans-state terrorist and
    criminal networks.
  • In Bosnia fusion is underway between the
    indigenous Bosnian Islamic Community and the
    transnational Islamic advocacy network. This
    trans-state network now includes mosques,
    madrassas, political organizations and
    publication programs that advocate Salafist
    doctrine. There is also evidence of trans-state
    Islamic advocacy networks engaged in illicit
    business activities.

16
The State of the Art Book Chapter Concluding
remarks cont.
  • The volume of illegal business in Bosnia is far
    less than in the Albanian and Kurdish networks.
    However, it seems to be exclusively ideologically
    and politically driven, in support of the Islamic
    political program. In contrast, the Albanian and
    the Kurdish networks have made agenda shifts, at
    times replacing political objectives with
    criminal ones.
  • Equally important, ad hoc trans-state
    collaborations are unlikely to change the
    political objectives pursued by nationalist
    movements. The BiH government after the war and
    after 09/11 has shown its determination to
    establish control over terrorist and criminal
    networks. The Kosovars, though reportedly
    receiving weapons from Iran and transporting
    drugs from Afghanistan, have not adopted militant
    Islamist goals. And the PKK has collaborated with
    Middle Eastern fighters primarily for material
    support for their nationalist war with Turkey,
    not because of shared Islamic objectives.
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