The sword of Narco-Terrorism Is dooming The International Security

Throughout the year 2020, Narco-Smuggling remained a hot topic due to different controversial reasons. In India, famous actor suicide case… “Drugs” remain matter of concern for government agencies around the world. But, the danger of drugs is limited to abuse and overdose and hence conspiratorially marring the dignity of Nations and National security.
Narco-Terrorism is still one of most agonized topic when it comes as a threat to one’s national security. The human evolution by time gave many boons to the society, majorly use for treatment and medications. The development of medical science has been always relies on the evolution of use of life saving drugs as medicines.

What is Narco-terrorism

According to Oxford dictionary, the term Narco-Terrrorism is defined as Terrorism associated with the trade in illegal drugs. Narco Terrorism is a congruence term to psychochemical warfare. Narco-terrorism is the way for terrorist groups to sponsor illicit drug trafficking via their sleeper networks. Most of the activities aren’t direct threat to national security at large however in the realm of non-contact warfare, this type of terrorism can provide serious harm to the nations at large, if gone unchecked. Therefore it can be said that narco-terrorism under the realm of non-contact warfare, especially that deliberately sponsored by a state can be proved to be a dastardly attack on the humanity at large as it always strikes from behind rather than getting into a direct combat.
It is unpredictable about when, where and how it shall have impair(ed) the society/welfare. As ruining the youth of a country can prove to be a more strategically brutal than killing soldiers at border and thus, narco-terrorism is cheaper and less-lethal tool that unfortunately remain second-rate concern among Nuclear and Radical terrorism.

The Origins of Narco-Terrorism

In picture – The area of Golden Cresent and Golden Triangle

The most famous nexus for illicit opium production is “Golden Crescent” that overlaps the region of Central Asia (Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan). The “Landi-Kotal” ( also known as Lawargai) and “Peshawar” in Occupied North-West Frontier Province bordered between Afghanistan and Pakistan are main centers for business transaction of opium-heroin funded weapons/arms and ammunition.
Apart from Golden Crescent, the “Golden Triangle” is second nexus of illicit opium production that covers the area of Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand. Myanmar is itself a second largest producer of opium in the world after NWFP, followed by Laos at third.

Other than this the inter-continental connection of illicit drug trade is a very general convention in Latin America. Columbia along with Peru and Bolivia is world’s dominant producer of narcotics like coca bush, most commonly known as ‘Cocaine’ while Poppy (Opium) is majorly cultivated in Columbia and Mexico.

A short study of Narcotics and its Effect

Though drugs like Opium, Cannabis, Heroin, Hasish and LSDs are sensational in traction and clearly known by the public but here are many unpopular names in Narcotics that led Narcotic Control Agencies a huge dwell on, around the world.
Hallucinogens are drugs that majorly affect sensation, thinking and self-awareness of its consumer. Psychedelics also a common hallucinogen type responsible for attacking one’s altered state of consciousness. Psychedelics along with Deliriants are now been used as a tool to traumatize victims and dissimulate them.
Narcotics aggressively attack Neurotransmitters, which is a language of brain to communicate between cells. When neurotransmitters are destroyed, the brain lost its ability to think, focus and work that results in abnormal behavior and emotional imbalance. Other Narcotics like Codeine and Empirin are also widely used in compound form via drug trafficking.

*Following the estimate by United Nations Office on drugs and Crime, the cocaine production hit all time high as per the data presented in 2017. Almost 18 Million of world’s population is cocaine addicted and hence contributing in Narco-Terrorism in direct and indirect means.

  • The United Nations world Drug report indicates that the illicit drug market has now reached between $300-$350 billion per year income.

There is another survey pen downed by Brig V.P Malhotra (Retd) of Indian Army in his book covering a bit of Narco-terrorism and Illicit Drugs processing, concerning Indian region:

The first phase started with an acre of poppy flowers produces approximately 7 kg of opium, which the farmers sell for around 12,000 to 15,000 rupees(inr).

The second phase is about the processing of opium. The raw opium is refined into heroin in a local factory. This time the refined heroin is sold upto 70,000 rupees.

The third phase is about smuggling of heroin out of country to different networks that goes up value of 13,50,000 rupees per kg approximately.

The last phase is about selling of certain drugs and heroin to its consumer that estimate around 47,00,000 rupees per kg.

Cases of Narco-terrorism impacted India and World in Recent Times

The National Investigation Agency of India filed a supplementary chargesheet against famous terrorist group Hizbul-Mujahideen in Narco-terrorism case on January 5,2021. The accused arrested in the case were working as sleeper cells involved in smuggling and channelizing of heroin from Pakistan to India. (source : The Indian Express)

In the month of March 2020, the U.S attorney General William P. Barr along with his office mates released his statements against Former President of Venezuela, Vice President of Venezuela, Venezuela’s Minister of Defense and Chief Supreme Justice of Venezuela for sponsoring Narco-Terrorism and Drug Trafficking in U.S to break down the U.S economy. The U.S accused former Venezuelian regime for funding Narco-terrorism nexus with Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia to shake the U.S thrift. (source: Department of Justice, United States)

There were several key judgements coined by Federal Research Division of Library of Congress, U.S, some of which majorly concerned about increase in narco-trafficking in Central Asia ( Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) and three former Soviet Republics of South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia). Despite brushing aside the illicit drug open market in the streets of United States, The U.S federal department of Research accused Russia for organizing narco-terrorism in Central Asia.

Note By The Author

I have been engaged myself with some research on global narcotics nexus where I found many key figures and information of involvement of global players in drug market mentioned in available but vague sources. To avoid any controversy by writing, I have barred from naming the organizations/ figures/ governments/ regimes/ political entities that are probably into sponsoring narco-terrorism.


  • Aditi Dubey

    A graduate in Economics from Delhi University. A master in defence and strategic studies from NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad. She worked with Janes Defence as a research analyst in the defence data development domain. An ethical hacker, she takes interest in issues related to military tactics, international laws, arms acts and tribunals.

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