Transnational Terrorism and Organized Crime in Afghanistan and their Implications for Security in the Region and Beyond
Dr. Arian Sharifi, Princeton School of Public and International Affairs
November 1, 2022 · 12:00 pm—1:00 pm · 202 Jones Hall and Zoom
Institute for the Transregional Study (TRI)
One year into the Taliban rule, Afghanistan is not only facing a domestic catastrophe, but is also becoming a site for global terrorism and transnational organized crime for some 20 foreign terrorist groups. These include 12 to 14 Pakistani groups, such as Tehrik-e-Taliban-e-Pakistan, Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Sepah-e-Sahaba, and 4 regional groups such as the Chinese East Turkistan Islamic Movement, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Ansarullah and Jundullah, and 3 globally-oriented terrorist groups, namely Al-Qaeda, Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent, and the Islamic State-Khorasan Province. They all intermingle, trying to utilize Afghan territory and left-over government facilities to train, plan, stage, and conduct terrorist activities across the region and the world. Meanwhile, at least 6 categories of transnational criminal activities, including drug production and smuggling, illicit mining, human smuggling and trafficking, flora and fauna crimes all symbiotically operate with transnational terrorism. The nexus of terrorism and organized crime that is unfolding in Afghanistan can have far-reaching security implications. This short presentation will explain the nature of these threats, as well as the potential ways they could manifest across the region and the world.