Unexpected Allies: The Impact of Terrorism on Organised Crime in Sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asia Articles uri icon

publication date

  • May 2022

start page

  • 348

end page

  • 367


  • 5-6


  • 45

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1057-610X

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1521-0731


  • Is there a link between levels of terrorism and the presence of organized crime groups? Which factors does terrorism affect that could impact the presence and expansion of organized crime groups? This study aims to empirically analyze this link. Dealing with potential endogeneity bias using matching methods, we provide quantitative evidence showing that terrorist attacks increase the future levels of organized crime group activities. Using Structural Equation Modeling techniques (SEM), we also show that the main mechanisms through which this relation seems to occur are through the effects of terrorism on state capacity and state legitimacy. Thus, organized crime groups seem to take advantage of the turbulent situation created by terrorist attacks in order to expand their activities. The findings provided in this paper aim to increase our knowledge on the so-called crime-terror nexus.


  • Politics
  • Sociology


  • terrorism; organised crime;state capacity; state legitimacy