Global terrorism is one of the biggest threats of 21st century. Terrorism is defined as “calculated use of violence of threat of violence to inculcate fear intended to intimidate or to coerce governments or societies to pursue the goals which are generally political, religious or ideological”. In cyber age and in the era of the globalization terrorism has become a competitive industry and resulted in creating networks of networks and polycentric model of terrorist groups and cyber Jihadists. For an industry, to prosper and survive longer it requires regular Funding, Market (public opinion) and Manpower, which these organizations acquire from transnational crimes. Further media acts as unintentional ally of terrorists by providing publicity and recruitment. Terrorism and transnational organized crime has become a full fledged industry which poses not only military threat but alsoaffects the world’s legitimate economy. After 9/11 attacks on US the UNO convened a meeting of all its jurisdictions/members and passed a resolution 1373 wherein under this resolution terrorism, terror financing and transnational organized crime were brought under one ambit and all members were asked to share the information with each other. But we need to understand how these terrorists groups operate and how these groups raise finances required to achieve their goal. For e.g, the ISIS and Haqqani network is widely recognized as a semi-autonomous component of the Taliban and as the deadliest and most globally focused faction of that latter group. What gets far less attention is the fact that these outfits also appear to be the most sophisticated and diversified from a financial standpoint.
The Haqqani business portfolio mirrors a mafia operation, and illustrate why an understanding of the illicit business side of the network is critical to enriching our understanding of the group. In addition to raising funds from ideologically likeminded donors, through use of media/social media the Haqqanis have engaged in since the 1980s, information collected by agencies over the past three decades they have penetrated key business sectors, including import-export, transport, real estate and construction in Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Arab Gulf and beyond. These outfits employ violence and intimidation to extort legal firms and prominent community members, and engage in kidnap for ransom schemes. According to investigators, they protect and engage in the trafficking of narcotics and the precursor chemicals used to process heroin (although to a much lesser degree than other factions of the Afghan Taliban). The Haqqanis also appear to operate their own front companies, many of which appear to be directed at laundering illicit proceeds. The broad range of business activities in which the Haqqanis engage suggests that the pursuit of wealth and power may be just as important to network leaders as the Islamist and nationalistic ideals for which the Haqqanis claim to fight. The D -Company headed by Dawood Ibrahim, who is has been declared a Terrorist by US/India and wanted by India is engaged in business activities in Middle East and Europe.
Over last few decades the ISIS, AL-QUEDA, LET& Haqqanis, have evolved into an efficient, transnational jihadi industry, one which supports their war effort, and which is supported by it. There's no doubt that these terrorist networks need to raise funds in order to support its war efforts, it is also true that a continued war benefits these outfits current financial portfolio. The capacity of these outfits to raise funds from ideological supporters requires continued struggle, and their capacity to profit off key business activities, in particular extortion, kidnapping and smuggling, depends on a sustained state of insecurity and limited state influence.
Hidden Hand or Sponsors: In case of ISIS and Syrian crisis there are some hidden hands using these groups for selling their arms and pursuing their long term interests. Which has resulted in setting up of State sponsored industry by these outfits. Even UNO has not been able to define terrorism, thus there exists good and bad terrorism. Before this industry outperforms the legitimate industry and acquires funds to get WMD’s there is an explicit need to curb it so that it does not pose a dent to the legitimate global financial system.