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Violence at Sea: How Terrorists, Insurgents, and Other Extremists Exploit the Maritime Domain

Terrorist groups around the globe have seen the challenges of securing the maritime domain as an opportunity to advance their political goals. Increasingly, they strategically leverage sea blindness and weak maritime capabilities to smuggle fighters and weapons, orchestrate attacks on maritime targets, and even finance their operations through illicit trafficking and taxation schemes. While the challenges of securing the maritime domain are well understood in both academic and policy circles, developing robust and effective capabilities to quell maritime threats remains an intricate challenge.


Building on a previous report, Soft Targets and Black Markets, and in order to better understand the specifics behind how these violent non-state actors use the maritime domain, we set out to develop group profiles that consider the degree to which these organizations are active in the maritime space for operational and financial purposes. This report considers the maritime activities of 43 terrorist organizations the world over, from the frontier of Colombia and Venezuela to the contested coastline of northeastern Borneo.


Click here to download the report.

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This content was created when Stable Seas was a program of One Earth Future.