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Diane Publishing Books
Crimes Committed by Terrorist Groups: Theory, Research, and Prevention
Mark S. Hamm (au)
This study examines terrorists’ involvement in a variety of crimes ranging from motor vehicle violations, immigration fraud, and manufacturing illegal firearms to counterfeiting, armed bank robbery, and smuggling weapons of mass destruction. Special attention is given to transnational organized crime. Crimes are analyzed through theories which draw our attention to the opportunities to commit crime and the criminal skills necessary to turn opportunity into criminality. The study is organized into three parts: (I) A secondary analysis of the American Terrorism Study (ATS) database, comparing the criminality of international jihad groups with domestic right-wing groups. (II) Six case studies of crimes committed by international jihad groups and domestic rightwing groups, selected from the ATS based on frequency distributions of criminal counts filed against the groups. Trial transcripts, official reports, previous scholarship, and interviews with law enforcement officials and former terrorists are used to explore opportunities and skills that made crimes possible (“successes”); or events and lack of skill that the prevented crimes (“failures”). The research includes brief biographies of the terrorists along with descriptions of their organizations, strategies, and terrorist plots. The actualities of daily criminality inside terrorist cells are also considered through an analysis of such factors as religion, charismatic leadership, intra-group conflict, terrorism’s cultural codes and mythologies, as well as the role of women in terrorist groups. (III) Content analysis of the pervasive themes presented in closing arguments of the transcripts used in Part II. Variables include crimes committed by terrorist groups, criminal opportunities, criminal skills, and controls.
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