CRS on Terrorist Precursor Crimes

05.25.07 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

The role of domestic criminal activity in generating financial and operational support for terrorism is considered in a new report (pdf) from the Congressional Research Service.

So-called “terrorist precursor crimes” may include various types of fraud, counterfeiting, narcotics trade, and illegal weapons procurement.

“This report provides an overview of the types of terrorist precursor crimes known, and/or alleged, to have been employed by individuals and/or groups in the United States. The report highlights issues related to the breadth of this activity in the United States, as well as the opportunities for intelligence collection and law enforcement-related countermeasures.”

But it is not immediately clear that “terrorist precursor crime” is a useful analytical construct since only “a very small percentage of individuals engaged in such activity” are likely to have any “nexus to terrorism.”

A copy of the new CRS report was obtained by Secrecy News.

See “Terrorist Precursor Crimes: Issues and Options for Congress,” May 24, 2007.