Technology and the Crime-Terror Nexus: Threat Convergence in a Digital Age

By Steven Inglis

Over the past three decades, scholars and national security authorities have devoted increasing attention to threats involving the so-called “crime-terror nexus,” which describes varying levels of interaction and overlap between criminal and terrorist entities. Despite widespread acknowledgement that information technology has played a significant role in expanding the crime-terror nexus, details of this phenomenon remain unexplored. To fill this gap, this article explores how communications technology, and the Internet in particular, impacts the crime-terror nexus by opening additional pathways for interaction and acquisition of novel resources and capabilities among criminal and terrorist organizations. To that end, it presents both objective evidence of crime-terror cooperation and hybridization in cyberspace, as well as analysis of likely current and future uses of the Internet that may be impacting the nexus. This article concludes with policy recommendations that security authorities should consider among efforts to address the risks associated with technology and the crime-terror nexus.

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