There are many characteristics that are shared by terrorist groups and criminal networks and the growing trend is not as a coincidence and as such both are blamed for the ever growing threats across the world prompting many countries to strengthen their security measures. Scholars have supported the assertion that all terrorists are considered criminals as they are involved in criminal offenses as they aim to facilitate the activities of their terrorist groups (Block et al, 2007).
One of the common features that make terrorists to be described as criminals is the intersection that exists between criminal groups and terrorist organizations that is common in coexistence, cooperation and convergence during criminal and terrorism activities. Their common activities have prompted many countries to initiate action and policy measures with the aim of preventing such antisocial behaviors and to protect and secure the nation from such attacks (Block et al, 2007).
The September 11 terrorist attack in the United States has raised many ethical and legal queries on how countries can fight terrorism as a criminal activity. The main question is as to whether terrorists should be treated as criminals and scholars have pointed out that they should not be treated as criminals as that may take away vital tools that can be used to prevent attacks, such as interrogating detainees for intelligence and launching drone strikes. Despite this, many security professionals have affirmed that that holding suspects without charge and denying them the ability to defend themselves in court goes against societal values and as such erodes the freedoms enshrined in the constitution, therefore terrorists should not be treated as criminals (Block et al, 2007).
Block, A. A., Bovenkerk, F., & Levi, M. (2007). The organized crime community: Essays in
honor of Alan A. Block. (Springer e-books.) New York: Springer Science+Business Media.