National security and the state’s ability to guarantee its residents’ safety have always been some of the major priorities for the governmental bodies and law enforcement as a segment. Every day, thousands of people throughout the world suffer from human right violation caused by human trafficking, illegal trade, and acts of terrorism. As a result, intelligence forces were introduced to collect and analyze the data on human right violation incidence rates to anticipate and prevent further risks.
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However, rapid development in technology that allows encoding information makes it difficult for the intelligence community to keep up with the abusers to produce relevant forecasts. Aiming at taking more control over the situation, the law enforcement sector has introduced an occupation of terrorism liaison officer (TLO), the primary goal of which is to keep constant track of the primary data related to terrorism exclusively. Thus, when faced with emergencies, TLOs would be able to inform police officers and other law enforcement agencies with up-to-date information known to the intelligence community.
Over the past few years, the notion of terrorism has become an integral part of daily news digests across the world. However, other hazardous social disasters that take place in the world remain untold due to the government’s incompetence in the field and the inability to give explicit answers to the fellow residents. A prime example of such an intelligence challenge is the issue of human trafficking, also known as 21st-century slavery. According to the latest UN Security Council’s reports, the connection between human trafficking incidence and terrorism has been steadily increasing since 2016, when first assumptions on the matter were made (CTED, 2019). Although such a correlation has no explicit evidence, the researchers claim human trafficking to be one of the major sources of terrorism financing, which is rarely discussed in the media and community.
Furthermore, despite the amount of media content related to the acts of terrorism that take place in the world and the US in particular, people have little knowledge of the issue roots and definition peculiarities. According to the sociology studies, US residents perceive acts of terrorism as legitimate mostly when executed by various Muslim organizations, claiming other incidents as accidental (Huff & Kertzer, 2018). However, while not spreading panic across the world population, intelligence communities do their best to systemize all the incidents related to terrorism to define major powers responsible for the havoc. In terms of the ongoing investigations, terrorism financing has become one of the major concerns, as law enforcement agencies are trying to estimate potential sponsors. Human trafficking has become the most probable theoretical framework when it comes to the issue (CTED, 2019). By transporting the labor force to the clients, terrorists have the opportunity to gain major profit for further operations conduction and overall organization maintenance. Thus, in terms of the intelligence challenges, the issue of human trafficking should be closely investigated by the task forces and TLOs in particular.
The first major responsibility of the TLO will be to conduct meticulous research on the matter of human trafficking patterns and financing in the known terrorist epicenters to estimate the correlation between the phenomena. To begin with, the officer is to examine the social groups of migrants and refugees, as they are the most vulnerable groups in terms of human trafficking. According to the sociologists, this social class can be easily deceived by people who promise them the opportunity to cross the national border. Instead, they are frequently taken hostages and transported as a free labor force to other countries (Van Reisen & Estefanos, 2017). To obtain a better understanding of the issue, the TLO should address the aspects of recruitment and financing for the organizations relevant to the national context.
One of the most widespread and threatening terrorist groups functioning in the US today is the Islamic State (ISIS). While the core ideas of the organization stem from religious beliefs, the ways of its power expansion are rather violent in the worldwide context (RAND, 2020). ISIS’s committees are nowadays located across the globe, extending their influence by the active process of recruitment and fundraising. However, besides the amount of money that comes from the residents and members’ support, the organization is also mostly funded by committing illegal actions for the clients who deal with unlawful transportation of human resources. According to the researchers, major elements of human trafficking include:
- The process of recruitment and movement of persons;
- The element of fraud and coercion;
- Exploitation (Welch, 2016).
Thus, getting paid for the delivery of human resources is not the only cause for organizations like ISIS to become involved in the process. They are also primarily interested in the effect these operations have on the peace-loving population and country leaders, as violent neglecting fundamental human freedoms keep people in constant fear. Taking these aspects into consideration, one might conclude that terrorism is a mechanism that consists of a variety of smaller processes that work simultaneously to produce results. Once one of these processes is cut off from the working scheme, the overall picture and outcome of terrorism will be significantly affected. Thus, the primary goal of the TLO in the following context is to systemize enough data to bring down major human trafficking patterns, aiming at reducing financial aid for the terrorists and their psychological impact on the world community.
When speaking of the purely US context of terrorism suppression, intelligence communities and legislative branches have developed several ways of potential issue combating. One of the most notorious frameworks is related to the “3P Paradigm” management, which deals with the prevention, protection, and prosecutions of the terroristic acts (Welch, 2016). The paradigm is primarily victim-oriented, making sure that the ones who suffered from terrorist attacks were safe, and the figures responsible for the attack bore the responsibility for the actions committed. However, the major flaw of such an approach is that the concept of terrorism prevention is barely regarded in the paradigm. Thus, in terms of further addressing terrorism on the national level, the intelligence community and law enforcement representatives should develop policies aimed at eradicating the issue at its roots with the help of primary data collection and systemizing performed by the TLOs.
Nowadays, there exists a number of non-governmental organizations that promote human trafficking prevention according to the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons. These NGOs are primarily aimed at gathering data related to human trafficking incidence and anti-transnational crime promotion. However, they do not have access to confidential information stored in the IC databases. Thus, once TLOs secure proper communication with these organizations, the overall outcome of the prevention policies might improve significantly.
The core ideology of the ISIS-like organizations deals with covert action planning and secretive operations performance plan for the schemes to remain inaccessible for military forces and intelligence. However, the one thing that severely affects this integrity is the organization members’ desire to display the consequences of their actions to keep the population terrified of terrorism. Bearing these specifics in mind, TLOs should commence a meticulous investigation of the human trafficking commitment on the national border to structuralize the instance rate, and individuals noticed during the transportation process. With this information, the officers will be able to design the framework of military forces division aimed at preventing operation execution, thus cutting one of the key financial sources for terrorism acts (Welch, 2016). Finally, all of the aforementioned operations are to be followed by cybersecurity research, as most of the trafficking arrangements are now conducted with the help of various messengers and separate software systems. However, while pursuing the idea of terrifying the world community, terrorists often leave some complicated hints, which might serve as a valuable tool for further investigations.
Taking everything into consideration, it might be concluded that human trafficking has now become one of the most severe consequences and one of the major financing sources of terrorism simultaneously. In terms of the ongoing combat with this issue, terrorism liaison officers (TLOs) are to conduct a series of operations to provide intelligence and military forces with relevant information. These operations mostly include primary data collection, constant collaboration with various antiterrorism organizations, and cyber monitoring of the human trafficking patterns in both the US and countries that contain major terroristic organizations.
CTED. (2019). Identifying and exploring the nexus between human trafficking, terrorism, and terrorism financing. Web.
Huff, C., & Kertzer, J. D. (2018). How the public defines terrorism. American Journal of Political Science, 62(1), 55-71.
RAND. (2020). The Islamic State (terrorist organization). Web.
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Van Reisen, M., & Estefanos, M. (2017). Human trafficking connecting to terrorism and organ trafficking: Libya and Egypt. In Human trafficking and trauma in the digital era: the ongoing tragedy of the trade in refugees from Eritrea, 159-192. Langaa Research & Publishing Common Initiative Group.
Welch, S. A. (2016). Human trafficking and terrorism: utilizing national security resources to prevent human trafficking in the Islamic state. Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy, 24(165), 165-188