DOES TERRORISM FINANCE ITSELF THROUGH CIGARETTE SMUGGLING?
ICSA Foundation will undertake a two-year research project.
The connection between the illegal tobacco trade, which in Europe alone is worth almost 50 billion Euros, and the financing of international jihadist terrorism, is at the center of the “Fighting Terrorism on the Tobacco Road” research project. The ICSA Foundation has been awarded a grant for this project under PMI IMPACT, a global funding initiative by Philip Morris International against illicit trade and related crimes.
“At present, terrorism can profit from an underestimated perception of the danger of tobacco smuggling. Our research will define the contours of the threat in order to identify the most suitable forms of counter action”, says General Leonardo Tricarico, President of the ICSA Foundation. “The PMI IMPACT selection of Fighting Terrorism on the Tobacco Road is evidence of the ICSA Foundation ability to carry out research in highly specific contexts and envision new means to convey scientific research results to a much broader audience”.
The “Fighting Terrorism on the Tobacco Road” research project will span two years, divided into two subsequent phases. The first phase produce a report and a training manual. The second phase will be concentrate on increasing awareness in the security and media communities. The project will also explore other criminal activities often related to the illicit tobacco trade, such as drug smuggling, trafficking of cultural heritage, oil smuggling, human trafficking and money laundering. All research and results will be made available through the project website and social media outlets connected to the dedicated project website.
“The ICSA research team will tackle the complex subject by implementing an interdisciplinary approach, which will combine social science methodology with field experience, all with absolute research independence”, Project Leader Carlo De Stefano, Vice President of the ICSA Foundation, specifies.
According to Italo Saverio Trento, Director of the ICSA Foundation, the experience that will derive from this project will “represent an opportunity to expand on the subject of international jihadist terrorism, which has already distinguished Foundation ICSA’s analytical activity since its origins in 2009″.
Fighting Terrorism on the Tobacco Road” is one of the 32 research projects financed by PMI IMPACT in the initiative’s first funding round. The selection was made by a board of independent experts in the fields of law, anti-corruption, and the fight against organized crime and illegal trade, which chose from over 200 applications submitted by private and public subjects from over 40 countries.