Terrorism and organised crime 5

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Terrorism and Organized Crime
Lecture 5, 6 & 7
Regional variations of organized crime
Personal advice - whenever you hear anything concerning regional forms of organized crime always crosscheck it. The problem is that in most cases we base on very specific sources of information - caught criminals, police reports or journalists' inquiries. All of them may have reasons to show their side of the story. Personally I always assume that I need at least three independent sources of information concerning organized crime groups to consider it valuable. It is also worthy, in my opinion, to concentrate less on individual examples and more on general trends in criminal behavior. Personally I don't think we are able to write a reliable history of organized criminal groups.
American, Russian, Italian and Japanese organized crime shows that organized criminal activity reflects different needs of different societies. Thus we may say that organized crime is like the society it exploits.
Another thing is supposed violent character of the described criminal groups. While not negating violent crimes committed by their members its worth noticing, that they were seen and feared not only because they were violent but also because they were alien to those who feared them most. To a certain extent we may say that their image was more vile than their true nature.
American and Italian organized crime:
Historically US organized crime is mostly associated with Italian immigration. The first gangsters, like Al Capone (caught for not paying taxes), Bugsy Siegel (Las Vegas), Lucky Luciano (helped Patton in Sickily) have managed to develop a web of connections between various criminal groups, mostly (but not only) Italian, which allowed them to concentrate more on running illegal business and less on fighting competition. The structure, called sometimes Cosa Nostra, did not survive the introduction


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Albanese (2007). Organized crime in…
… in America, from Al Capone to Tony Soprano. New York: Life Books.
Cressey, Finckenauer (2008). Theft of the Nation: The Structure and Operations of Organized Crime in America. Transaction Publishers. Albini (1995). "Russian Organized Crime: Its History, Structure and Function". Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice 11 (4). Abadinsky (2009). Organized Crime. Cengage. Fijnaut, Paoli (2004…
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