THE ITALIAN ‘ISIS DRUGS’ SEIZURE WILL NOT DENT JIHADIST SURVIVAL IN CRIME TERROR NEXUS- INTERNATIONAL ORGANISED CRIME EXPERT WARNS
While speaking on Aljazeera News, International Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime specialist, David Otto made the following post-interview analysis exclusively to Eons Intelligence
If ISIS core or anyone linked to the global jihadist movement is indeed behind this transaction then we have to look at 5 key implications:
First: ISIS would have already received full payment for this transaction before dispatch this is typically an organised crime Modus operandi - they don’t wait for the drugs to arrive safely before they get their money - that’s another man’s problem. But more important the £900m is an estimated street value of the drugs. This is not the amount that ISIS will make from it. You may have to divide that amount by 5 to estimate their gains. It’s way less than £900m
Second: This could be the biggest seizure for the Italian police and intelligence services but for ISIS or those involved it could be a drop in the ocean. A seizure in the quantity of 14 tonnes indicates this has been tried in smaller and even larger quantities for years with great success - the investigation should focus on how long this been going on and in what quantities.
Thirdly: This drug smuggling Link with ISIS confirms that ISIS may have lost its physical Caliphate in Raqqa and Mosul but it retains the operational ability to do organised criminal business outside Syria. They may have lost land but not ideas on how to remain active and relevant- these funds are used to sustain ISIS Wiyalats around the world especially those who pledged allegiance to ISIS. They have to continue to sustain these networks through organised crime activities.
Fourth: This is a clear sign of the growing relationship of interest between organised criminals with no ideology and terrorist with a twisted ideology working together for a common purpose - perhaps not even agreeing with each other’s ideological position.
Fifth: Even though terrorist groups like ISIS, Taliban, Boko Haram, ISWAP and Al-Shabaab havé a history of using these type of drugs for “Dutch courage” during violent activities and to stay alert, most of these smuggled enhancements drugs are for non-jihadist consumers. You don’t make much money from a drug that you consume yourself. And if these drugs were meant for the European market as it appears, then it tells you the demand for such drugs beyond the jihadist circle. This high demand drives the supply chain.
Lastly: The War on Terror is strictly an intelligence-led endeavour through bottom-top coordination from different stakeholder agencies - money and terrorist financing is the oxygen for jihadists to continue their operations and sustain their activities and fighters. Cutting these links at the right point will impact hugely on jihadist violent activities around the world.
This may indeed be the biggest catch for the Italian intelligence service but it may not have impacted ISIS in the short term. They will seek other means of smuggling drugs just like Opium is smuggled by AlQaeda & the Taliban. While in Northern Nigeria, the Lake Chad and Sahel, jihadist linked to AlQaeda and ISIS -Boko Haram and ISWAP engage in the smuggling of Tramadol, Cattle, Fish, Forces taxation and kidnap for ransom for survival. See something - Say Something!!
David Otto is a Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Expert. He is a Certified Anti-Terrorism Specialist (CAS), a Certified Master Anti-Terrorism Specialist (CMAS) and a programme trainer with the Anti-Terrorism Accreditation Board (ATAB). Twitter @ottotgs