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Internal Security for UPSC: Narco-Terrorism by IPS Officer Lohit Matani



“The fight which a drug addict fights with himself/herself is bigger than the fight which a nation fights against the menace of Narco-Terrorism. If each drug addict will win, the nation will win.” -Udta Punjab

Hi friends!


Narco-Terrorism is a burning topic of discussion these days. Apart from ruining our youth, it finances the terrorist activities in a big manner. Thus, it is important to understand it.


Meaning and Definition


Narco-Terrorism refers to the nexus between narcotics (drugs trade) and terrorism. Both the terms are used together, as both are dependent on each other. Narcotic trafficking means the illegal cross border trade of narcotics drugs and psychotropic substances. Narcotic trafficking, which started as an organised cross border crime has emerged as an internal security threat because of its diabolic alliance with terrorist groups; drug trafficking is the biggest source of funding for terrorist activities.

The word narco-terrorism was used for the first time in US when drug smugglers in Central American countries like Bolivia, Colombia, Peru and Nicaragua organised the illegal trade as a profession and ran a parallel government.

This drug trade are the major source of funding for cross border terrorism in our country. Narco-terrorism not only cripples the politics but also the economy of the country. The drug money floated into the Indian money market damages our financial institutions.


Drug Trafficking and Terrorism


Drug trafficking and terrorism are intricately related in the following ways:

  • Narcotic drugs are the most lucrative commodity that generates quick money without paper work. The business is done in hard cash and no document is left as evidence for legal action.
  • The drug money is laundered.
  • Terrorism needs huge sum of money for its sustenance, thus they approach drug syndicates for cooperation. Drug smugglers too find the proposal attractive as its gives them an opportunity to align with the aspirants of political power (terrorists), and thus gives them access to politics in due course of time. The criminalisation of politics is the result of the same nexus.
  • Moreover, the economy of narcotics producing countries is dependent on the illegal drug trade. Thus, even after knowing that the drug trade is leading to terror financing, these countries are unable to stop it.

This Article is a part of a series of Articles on Internal Security and Disaster Management by Lohit Matani. You can check his future Articles by visiting this page. The Articles would come every Sunday.


Lohit Matani is an Indian Police Service (IPS) Officer, serving in Maharastra Cadre. He has deep interest in, and specializes in Internal Security & Disaster Management. He is a published author and a blogger. You can reach him on Facebook or on his blog here or buy his book on Internal Secuity by clicking here.
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