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The “New” Face of Transnational Crime Organizations (TCOs): A Geopolitical Perspective and Implications to U.S. National Security


The “New” Face of Transnational Crime Organizations (TCOs): A Geopolitical Perspective and Implications to U.S. National Security

Abstract: 

This paper details a project designed to assess risks posed by criminal organizations operating in Pakistan. The START research team utilized openly available sources to identify criminal organizations active in Pakistan and to build qualitative profiles for 11 of the most significant criminal organizations. The Radiological/Nuclear Smuggling Threat Assessment Tool (RN-STAT), previously developed by START, was modified and extended to assess the threat individual criminal organizations posed in four arenas, including the following (Ackerman, 2011).

• The likelihood of engaging in RN smuggling in general

• The likelihood of engaging in RN smuggling for or with a terrorist organization

• The likelihood of forming a general cooperative nexus with a regional terrorist organization

• The likelihood of increasing the levels of instability within the Pakistani state

This modified threat assessment tool, renamed the Criminal Organization Threat Assessment Tool (COTAT), was applied to selected criminal organizations. A social network analysis was also undertaken for each of the profiled criminal organizations and their interactions with others in the Pakistani milieu.

This paper first reviews the methodologies employed and then moves to a discussion of the findings of the threat assessment tool and the social network analysis. The conclusion highlights key findings and lessons learned, including potential insights for policy. 

Publication Information

Full Citation: 

Pate, Amy, Mila Johns, Gary Ackerman and McKenzie O'Brien. “The Threat of Pakistani Criminal Organizations: Assessing the Potential for Involvement in Radiological/Nuclear Smuggling, Collaboration with Terrorist Groups, and the Potential to Destabilize the Pakistani State.” Chapter in Dept. of Defense Whitepaper The ‘New’ Face of Transnational Crime Organizations (TCOs): A Geopolitical Perspective and Implications to U.S. National Security. May 2013. https://www.hsdl.org/?view&did=733208

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