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An Anti-Crime Strategy to Combat the PKK

Here is a piece I wrote about the U.S. Treasury Department designating three people narcotics traffickers acting on behalf of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). U.S. authoraties have had success in targeting narco-terrorist groups, such as Hezbollah or the PKK, both of which should be of concern to law enforcement and intelligence services.

An Anti-Crime Strategy to Combat the PKK – Hurriyet Daily News

This month, the U.S. Treasury Department designated three individuals as narcotics traffickers acting on behalf of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), or Kongra-Gel. That the PKK is deeply engaged in a wide array of criminal activities should not be surprising to those familiar with the group. Focusing law enforcement and intelligence efforts on targeting and exposing such activities is an especially effective means of combating both the organization’s criminal and terrorist activities. Consider the case of Lebanese Hezbollah, which has been the target of several nations’ law enforcement agencies.

Exposure of the group’s transnational criminal activity — especially drug running — brought together a wide spectrum of countries to combat illegal activities that are coincidentally carried out by violent extremist groups. A similar focus on the PKK could have tremendous benefits of both an anti-crime and anti-terrorism nature.

Over the past two years, a string of criminal investigations has exposed Hezbollah’s global criminal activities, from weapons smuggling and fencing stolen goods to drug trafficking and money laundering. None has been more significant, though, than the investigation that revealed Hezbollah operatives were using Lebanese and African banks to launder drug money destined for Hezbollah. Read more

Dr. Matthew Levitt blogs on counterterrorism, countering violent extremism and combating the financing of transnational threats. Read More