|Author (Person)||Coss, Simon|
|Series Title||European Voice|
|Series Details||Vol.8, No.40, 7.11.02, p8|
THE latest edition of a confidential annual report on organised crime in the EU has found few concrete links between terrorism and traditional criminal activity, diplomats say.
The 'Organised Crime Situation Report for 2002' was drawn up by EU police agency Europol. It is set to be adopted by the Union's Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) ministers at their 28-29 November meeting.
But experts say despite the hype surrounding possible links between mafia-type crime gangs and terror groups such as Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network, clear evidence for such ties is thin on the ground.
'There is certainly a feeling in most national capitals that there are links between criminal activities like smuggling drugs or human beings and terrorism but so far it has been very hard to prove anything,' one JHA expert told European Voice.
The introduction to the latest report stresses that the document is not supposed to cover terrorism or terrorist networks per se. But officials who have read it say that the issue of possible links between organised crime groups and terror organisations is mentioned several times.
Other insiders point out that EU terrorism experts have taken a particular interest in this year's crime report during their regular restricted meetings in Brussels.
Some diplomats suggest next year's study may contain more concrete findings on the alleged links. 'A lot of the data in this document was collected before or soon after 11 September 2001,' explained one official, adding that the question of crime-terror links only really became a major issue in the wake of the attacks on Washington and New York.
The latest edition of a confidential annual report on organised crime in the EU has found few concrete links between terrorism and traditional criminal activity. The 'Organised Crime Situation Report for 2002' was drawn up by EU police agency Europol.
|Subject Categories||Justice and Home Affairs, Security and Defence|