Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Organized Crime, Piracy and al Qaeda - a comparison

A distinction can be drawn between clan based piracy and traditional organized crime only that one normally operates on land and pirates operate on the sea.  At sea, crimes can be easily hidden by the sinking of a ship (or of dead bodies) such that there is little evidence remaining, therefore the crime of piracy has historically been held to be among the most serious that can be committed.

Practically there is are few other differences. Elisaveta Aleksandrova, who follows this blog has made the comparison between the Russian mafia, kidnapping members/associates from the Bulgarian mafia in the modern world. She further points out that there is a point where mafia corruption touches the highest portions of the government and impacts government policies. She asks whether al Qaeda may have involvement with these mafias.

Mafia groups are selfish and guard their territory that provides them wealth. With the exception of the mafia in Chechnya (Чече́нская Респу́блика) which is largely sunni Muslim, organized crime groups in Russia and Bulgaria would be completely at odds with al Qaeda because of the philosophy that al Qaeda brings to its operations - which clearly mirror organized crime. There have been situations in the past were al Qaeda worked in concert with Islamic groups in Chechnya, but they seemed to be relationships of convenience rather than permanent alliances. Wahhabism (the conservative form of Islam practiced by al Qaeda) is so extreme that it is often incompatible with the way other Muslims view themselves and the world.

So while terror, kidnapping, murder, money laundering, and piracy would seem meld seamlessly between groups, it seldom does in the real world. There are other motivations that have to do with territory and personal enrichment that often get in the way of cooperation. 

Organized crime is parasitic. It needs legitimate business to continue in order for it to exist. It needs to corrupt governments to aid its efforts. The criminal goal is to make money.

Al Qaeda is a terrorist organization because its goals are political - it wants to turn back the clock so we can all live in a strict Islamic world in the way the religion was practiced in the first three centuries after it was founded under Muhammad and the Salaf (السلف الصالح‎) 


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the comprehensive,detailed and deep analysis.--It's seems ,that you have a truly deep knowledge of this area,but also a rather taste of diplomacy.

Opus #6 said...

That's in in a nutshell.

aleksandrova-aleksandrovart.blogspot.com said...

P.S.--from Elisaveta .--I'm sorry,but my former-/as first /posting was signet as anonymous it is an error.

LL said...

I have worked on the "good guy" side, fighting against these people most of my adult life, so I believe I have a grasp on what they do, how and why they do it.

Human beings have a capacity for great cruelty and for great love and compassion. It's not present in any species but ours and defines us for good or ill.

darlin said...

Extremely interesting I must say! I love to read your blogs, you keep it real, in doing so this makes them intriguing!

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