Transparency Int’l says corruption root cause of violent extremism

Corrupt practices in states such as Nigeria, Libya and Iraq are providing fertile ground for extremists, says the latest report by the watch dog.

Photo by: AP (Archive )
Photo by: AP (Archive )

In this file photo, a volunteer begins to paint over a mural that had been displayed by Daesh, on the eastern side of Mosul, Iraq.

Updated Feb 22, 2017

Western governments need to step up their efforts to combat corruption if they are to defeat terrorist groups such as Daesh and Boko Haram, Transparency International said on Tuesday.

Corrupt practices in states such as Nigeria, Libya and Iraq are providing fertile ground for extremists, the organisation's British branch said in a report.

"Corruption is the most powerful weapon in the armoury of violent extremism," it said in a 44-page report entitled "The Big Spin."

The report said extremist groups drew on public anger at the abuse of power as a means to radicalise and recruit. They also use corrupt officials and their links to organised crime to facilitate financial and arms flows.

Corruption also hollows out state institutions that should keep extremist forces in check, the report said.

Air strikes against Daesh in Iraq and Syria are "woefully insufficient" in building long-term stability, which requires accountable governments, the monitor said.

"Radical movements like ISIS [Daesh] thrive when people lose all faith in those in power -- when officials profit from the misery of the many, when the police exploit rather than protect, and when economic opportunity is skewed in favour of the connected few."

​Daesh seeks to portray itself as a countervailing force for for political integrity and reliable public service delivery, the report said.

"Too many Western governments focus on seeking to influence or moderate the behaviour of corrupt autocrats because they see them as an alternative to instability," it said.

But in the end, corrupt governments are the architects of future security crises.

TRT World spoke to Katherine Dixon, who is the director of Defence and Security at Transparency International for more on the report.

Click here to read the full report.

TRTWorld and agencies