Violent non-state actors (VNSAs) become involved in multiple economic activities including illegal and organized crime to retain their political and military capabilities. In contrast to legitimate and locally and internationally responsible actors, such as states, VNSAs have more possibilities to engage in black or illicit market relations and transnational activities. This is possible because there are no strong and established international mechanisms or regional cooperation to monitor and prevent these activities. This legal vacuum and the reality of several disintegrated/collapsed states in the Middle East and North Africa further generated favorable conditions for illegal economic activities like arms and human smuggling, drug trafficking, and money laundering.
Among other drug trafficking problems, narco-terrorism is a leading endemic challenge for both states and the international order. This black-market activity provides huge economic resources for VNSAs through which they can manage their military equipment and keep their influence over their followers via the social possibilities they gain. Looking at several cases, in particular the PKK terrorist networks and Hezbollah, they try to use these black market relations and criminal networks to receive huge amounts of easy money. Cutting this critical source and monitoring VNSAs should be a top priority for states and the international public in the fight against terrorism and any illegal violence.
PKK’s Narco-terrorism Reality
Since its emergence in 1982, the PKK and its affiliated groups try to maximize their financial profits through illicit methods including transferring heroin and other types of drugs specifically to Western countries. By cooperating with local branches in the Caucasus, the Balkans, and Africa, the PKK is involved in drug transportation by taxing these transfers and directly managing drug trafficking. According to several reports unveiled by national intelligence agencies…
Read more on Politics Today: Funding Violence with Drugs: The Cases of Hezbollah and the PKK