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Project

From Criminals to Terrorists and Back?

05.09.2018

The most well-known ISIS terrorist atrocities in Europe, including the 2015 Paris and 2016 Brussels attacks, saw individuals who in the past had been involved in organized crime and illegal trade graduate into the ranks of the world’s most successful terrorist organisation. It is now widely assumed that Europe’s terrorists are no longer radicals first and foremost but criminals who turned to political violence at some stage throughout their ordinary crime careers. Thus a threat emanating from the “crime-terror nexus” hangs over Europe.

GLOBSEC, an independent, non-partisan, non-governmental organisation which aims to shape the global debate on foreign and security policy, responded to this threat by developing a research and advocacy project aimed at addressing the “crime-terror nexus” in Europe. Our project titled From Criminals to Terrorists and Back? will:

  • collect, collate and analyse data on terrorism convicts from 11 EU countries (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK) with the highest number of arrests for terrorism offences. We will investigate whether these individuals had prior criminal connections, and if so, whether a specific connection to illegal trade is a precursor to terrorism, and to what extent this trade funds terrorism. In short, we will check whether crime-terror nexus exists and how strong it truly is.
  • disseminate project findings at high profile GLOBSEC Strategic Forums (GLOBSEC Bratislava Forum, TATRA Summit, Chateau Bela conferences) and other internationally acclaimed gatherings which attract decision makers, experts, private sector and law enforcement representatives, while also incorporating their expert level feedback into our work.
  • help shape and strengthen the European counter-terrorism efforts by providing tailor made solutions on combating crime-terror nexus and terrorist financing via education and awareness, and advocacy efforts involving decision makers and security stakeholders in the 11 targeted countries. This line of activity directly links the project to the widely acclaimed work of the GLOBSEC Intelligence Reform Initiative (GIRI), led by Sec. Michael Chertoff, which is involved in developing and promoting more effective transatlantic counter-terrorism solutions.

Kick off family picture:

 

Video explainer:

 

Kacper Rekawek, leader of the project:

Presentation of the project by Alena Kudzko in London:

RTVS interview on the inception report:

Media coverage:

Project team

Partners

Universidad Rey Juan Carlos logo
Univesiteit Leiden logo
Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore logo
UCC logo
iris logo

Publications

Publication

"Throughout recent history, Spain has been one of Europe’s most unique counter-terrorists as it first focused on its fights with separatist terrorism wh...

03.12.2019
Publication

Germany is a peculiar case in the project From Criminals to Terrorists, and back? In the peak year 2015, it declared only 21 jihadi terrorist arrestees ...

29.10.2019
Publication

This is the final report of the GLOBSEC’s From Criminals to Terrorists and Back?, a two year advocacy and research project funded under PMI Impact, a gl...

Publication

Unique to the European terrorism context is the case of Bulgaria, of which the majority of cases in our database are from the local Salafi Roma communit...

12.08.2019
Publication

With 20 more cases than in the initial Kick Off Report, a clearer view on the extent and nature of the crime-terror nexus amongst Belgian Jihadists is p...

06.08.2019
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Greece is one of the highest-ranking countries in the EU in terms of terrorist arrests and attacks in the past five years. Despite the large number of a...

22.07.2019
Publication

The second and final report on the Austrian‘ crime-terror nexus analysed all sixteen profiles of individuals arrested in 2015 for terrorist offences, pr...

11.07.2019
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The second report dissects the stories behind 58 individuals arrested or otherwise processed by the security forces in 2015 in Italy. Interestingly, onl...

01.07.2019
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INTRODUCTION When it comes to terrorism, the 22nd of May is a black day for the United Kingdom. Indeed, first in 2013, soldier Lee Rigby was savagely mu...

21.05.2019
Publication Preview
Publication

The second and final report on the Netherlands‘ crime-terror nexus has analysed all fourteen profiles of individuals arrested in 2015 for offences of te...

26.04.2019
Publication

INTRODUCING FROM CRIMINALS TO TERRORISTS AND BACK? [1] Quarterly Report: France, vol. 2 [2]

07.01.2019
Publication

GLOBSEC is proud to present  Who Are the European Jihadis? From Criminals to Terrorists and Back? Midterm Report, a report  by co-authors Kacper Rekawek...

on 11.09.2018
Publication

GLOBSEC presents you with the latest quarterly report developed by its From Criminals to Terrorists and Back? project. This time the focus is on Germany...

28.06.2018
Publication

The From Criminals to Terrorists and Back? project team presents another in its series of Quarterly Reports, this time focused on Spain. Its authors are...

20.06.2018
Publication

As stated in GLOBSEC’s From Criminals to Terrorists and Back? Kick Off Report, Belgium is a unique case for the study of the crime-terror nexus.

13.06.2018
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In Greece, where terrorism offenses do not follow the current European radicalisation trends, thus being one of the outliers, the links between crime an...

06.06.2018
Publication

The analysis of an initial small sample suggests that there is indeed a certain crime-terror nexus within the Austrian prison population of interest. Th...

01.06.2018
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An initial examination of people arrested for terrorism or related offences in Bulgaria appears to discount any relation between crime and terrorism, as...

30.05.2018
Publication

The fourth quarterly report of the From Criminals to Terrorists and Back? project is focused on the case of Italy. Authors, Giovanni Giacalone and Nicol...

25.05.2018
Publication

This is the third of a series of 10 national chapters introducing findings of study of 2015 terrorism arrestees, as part of From Criminals to Terrorists...

23.05.2018
Publication preview
Publication

This is the second of the series of ten national quarterly reports covering the tentative findings from study of 2015 terrorism arrestees, as part of GL...

14.05.2018
Publication

This is the 1st of the ten quarterly reports from the teams based in the field (11 top terrorism arrestee countries) working on GLOBSEC’s From Criminals...

03.05.2018
Publication

GLOBSEC is proud to present  From Criminals to Terrorists and Back?,  a report  by co-authors Kacper Rekawek, Stanislav Matejka, Martina Babikova, Tomas...

14.12.2017