Podcast: 'The Crime Terror Nexus: European Jihadists and the New Convergence between Terrorism and Crime'

In the first meeting of the Ideas and Political Violence seminar series, Peter Neumann (King's College London) discusses the crime-terror nexus.

Neumann establishes four components of the nexus whereby criminal behaviour may facilitate subsequent terrorist activity. First, he suggests that a criminal may easily be radicalized by extremists given their use of the redemption narrative. Second, Neumann finds that prisons can act as a networking opportunity when people are otherwise vulnerable and away from traditional social supports. Third, he explains how there is a skills transfer between criminal and terrorist activities with former criminals having a greater familiarity with covert behaviour and potentially greater access to weapons. Finally, Neumann reports that petty crime itself is method for financing terrorist activities and subverts the typical focus on large bank transactions.

These axes of the crime-terror nexus speak to recent examples of European attacks including the Charlie Hebdo and Hypercacher supermarket attacks in France in 2015 where the assailaints had met in prison. Neumann concludes with recommendations for the future including to share information and to rethink how radical behaviour develops.


The Ideas and Political Violence seminar series is convened by Elizabeth Frazer and Jonathan Leader Maynard and takes place each Thursday at 4pm in Lecture Room 6 at New College.

Speakers: Peter Neumann