International terrorist movements and criminal networks are usually analysed as distinct phenomena. In theory their objectives differ: political motives inspire terrorist activities; material gains drive criminal action. In practice, however, terrorists need resources for arms, logistics, and sustenance and shelter for militants. Consequently, terrorist movements frequently rely on robbery, kidnapping for ransom, extortion, and trafficking in drugs and humans to finance their activities. Terrorists may establish criminal networks themselves. Alternatively, they may decide to cooperate with pre-existing ones. Other criminals, on the other hand, may find it useful to align with militant transnational movements. Driven by interests in profit maximization and risk reduction, transnational illicit businesses seek expansion of commercial opportunities. A new rebellion provides plenty of them, all the more so if it spills across international borders.
Mincheva, Lyubov and Ted R. Gurr. 2010. “'Unholy Alliances’: Evidence on Linkages between Trans-State Terrorism and Crime Networks: The Case of Bosnia.” In Transnational Terrorism, Organized Crime, and Peace-Building, eds. Wolfgang Benedek, Christopher Daase, Petrus van Duyne, and Vojin Dimitrijevic. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp.190-206. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1057%2F9780230281479_11