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Nexus of Crime and Terrorism: The Case of the Abu Sayyaf Group

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Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States

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The purpose of this study is to provide a clear understanding of the nexus of crime and terrorism, using the Abu Sayyaf Group ASG as a case study. This terrorist group in the southern part of the Philippines has evolved as a hybrid organization, combining terrorist and criminal activities to achieve its objectives. Moreover, as a terrorist organization, ASG effectively employs criminal tactics for its survival. This group draws its strength and resilience from collusion with various lawless elements and other criminal groups in Mindanao. This paper examines the theoretical framework of Makarenkos Crime-Terror CT Continuum to provide compelling explanations of the interaction and interoperability of crime and terrorism in the case of the ASG. It also highlights the Philippine CT strategy and approach to counter terrorism and discusses some notable gaps and problems, particularly its failure to recognize the ASG as a hybrid organization. This thesis concludes that the current Philippine counterterrorism strategy, although effective and in good shape, seems inadequate against hybrid organizations. Thus, this paper proposes that the Philippines re-examine its current CT strategy to be more appropriate, effective, and responsive against hybrid terrorist organizations.

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