Terrorists can benefit from organized crime as a source of financing or logistical support through the illicit trafficking of arms, persons, drugs, artefacts and cultural property. But terrorist groups can also benefit from the illicit trade in natural resources and wildlife, the abuse of legitimate commercial enterprise, donations, and proceeds of criminal activity, including kidnapping for ransom, extortion and bank robbery, as well as piracy.

Addressing these linkages has become an increasing priority for the international community. The UN has adopted several resolutions focused on addressing the links between terrorism and various forms of organized crime.

UNODC supports links between organized crime and terrorism through a variety of projects. This includes initiatives on improving border management, such as profiling high-risk passengers and cargo, on facilitating international cooperation, and on combating the financing of terrorism.

Secretary-General’s Report

In 2019, the Security Council adopted resolution 2482, which urged Member States to address the links between terrorism and organized crime, by adopting policy measures.
Together with our colleagues at the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism, we prepared the Secretary-General’s report on Action taken by Member States and United Nations entities to address the issue of linkages between terrorism and organized crime (S/2020/754).
In this report, we identified that Member States often need support with raising awareness of frontline officials on how organized crime and terrorism can be linked. Support is further needed for policies and procedures to build inter-agency cooperation, better investigative techniques and prosecutorial strategies. Information-sharing with the private sector, and stronger regional and international cooperation were also identified as priority areas.