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Somalia's Organized Crime Networks: A New Framework to Degrade al-Shabaab Open Access Deposited

This paper analyzes al-Shabaab’s organized criminal activities, addresses the nexus of organized crime, terrorism, and insurgency, and presents strategies to augment current approaches to marginalize the terrorist group. Capitalizing on the weakness in the rule of law in Somalia and the political economy of state collapse,1 al-Shabaab (Harakat al-Shabaab) has maintained its presence as an influential actor within Somalia and the greater Horn of Africa, with implications for national, regional, and global security. The terrorist group’s violent campaign, however, is part of a larger transnational criminal enterprise, financed through a diverse portfolio of criminal racketeering, illicit trafficking, extortion, and corruption. Dismantling al-Shabaab requires a new framework that would incentivize the business and political elite to withdraw their support from al-Shabaab and instead operate within the confines of formal governance and economic institutions.

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