Throughout history there has been
one thing that has been for certain, crime. Whether it is an individual
committing an egregious act for personal gain, or a group with a sinister plan
that involves wrongdoing, crime has been around for as long as humans have
walked the earth. Every criminal, or person who is considering committing an
act that is in violation of the law, may not be of the same background, race,
or ethnicity, however they all might contain something in common as to why they
are committing the acts in which they are committing. Crime, when carried out
in a professional, or premeditated state can be extremely difficult for police
and other officials to try and combat due to the degree of elusiveness that the
criminal, or criminals use to evade detection. Organized crime along with
terrorism both embody similarities in their body of work, however their M.O. might
not always align each of their core beliefs. By comparing and contrasting the
differences and similarities of both organized crime, and the rapid growing threat
of terrorism, we can successfully classify and identify the appropriate
punishment justified for each of the two groups. With that being said, the
historical background of both organized crime and the evolution of terrorism,
will bring to light why both of these groups are making such a prominent
comeback in modern day America.

History of Organized Crime

            Organized crime has been around for
centuries, however it is not always easily noticed because of the secrecy and
deceptiveness the criminals take to ensure not only their safety, but their
organizations safety. Throughout American history there has always been crime,
but criminals have had to evolve their practices in order to make the most of
their endeavors. Even though that organized crime has been around since the
1880’s, it wasn’t developed into a big problem until the 1920’s. The organized
crime development started due to waves of immigrants from Europe during World
War I, and some of these immigrants became the leaders of crime organizations
while they were able to provide the people with a home and incomes which were
difficult to come by during that time. Also, the “Noble Experiment” helped
organized crime to gain momentum, and with alcohol being illegal criminals were
able to make smuggling into a big business.

  Organized Crime
rose because of bootlegging and rum-runners. Even though it had been around in
the United States for about 50 years, it did not gain much momentum until
Prohibition. Crime bosses soon realized that they were able to make
considerable profits from making their own liquor and then selling it to
patrons. The rise of crime bosses in Chicago began with James “Big Jim”
Colosimo. Big Jim began his business running brothels. He needed a trustworthy
person to run his brothels, so he sent for his nephew, John Torrio. John Torrio
realized that Prohibition was going to happen, so he urged his uncle to get
into the bootlegging business. Big Jim was opposed to bootlegging because he
was already making considerable profits from his brothels, Torrio would bring
in his own apprentice from Brooklyn, Al Capone. Torrio then had Big Jim killed
in his own café. Torrio began to get into the bootlegging business, but a deal
went south and he turned the business over to Al Capone. “Within months, Capone
established himself as a reliable lieutenant to his mentor, a gangster named
Johnny Torrio, and together they began to build an enormous beer business. With
help from out-of-work brew masters, they created an elaborate network of
breweries, trucks, speakeasies, paying off cops, judges and politician’s as
they went.” (Blumenthal 94). Al Capone established one of the biggest
businesses for illegal liquor around the United States. Capone was able to
establish this big business because of the 18th Amendment, something that the
Anti-Salon League thought would change America for the better but instead had
changed it for the worse.

As more and more immigrants arrived from
Europe, they would begin to become leaders in the criminal world. Carlo
Gambino, a native of Palermo, Sicily, would immigrate to the United States
during Mussolini’s Mafia purge. Gambino would prosper from bootlegging and
would build a crime syndicate that was extremely prosperous. Frank Costello was
born in Calabria, Italy and immigrated to the United States. During
Prohibition, he worked with William Dwyer and worked as a Dwyer’s liaison to
the Italian Mob. Costello would also build up and regulate his mob before he
died in 1973. Many immigrants from Italy were not part of the organized crime
ring, but a small amount of them became some of the most notorious crime bosses
in United States history. “In the decades after Prohibition, organized crime in
America became the domain, primarily, of the American Mafia. The Mafia had
originated in Sicily in the 1800s, growing out of the private armies employed
by wealthy landowners striving to keep a firm grasp on their property. During
the boom in Italian immigration in the late 1800s, and early 1900s, the Mafia
traveled to the United States.” (Wilker 45).

Since organized crime rose to power in the
1920’s the organized crime world would become stronger by the decade and would
continue throughout the rest of the 19th Century. Organized crime would rise
because of the immense profits that could be made off  things such as gambling, prostitution, drug
trafficking, killings, and bootlegging. Organized crime still continues today,
and still involves many of the same things as the 1930s.

During the Prohibition era,
organized crime would rise to the top. It rose primarily due to the fact that
they were large profits that were able to be made from bootlegging. Organized
crime was able to prosper because of someone’s attempt to make the country a
better place. Recent immigrants from Italy, brought over the Mafia, and almost
grew it into a corporate business. The business of Organized Crime will always
be around, but where it really succeeded was the Prohibition era.

When it comes to the fight against organized
crime, law enforcement been impeded by legal limitations. However, there have
been substantial changes when it comes to expanding the investigative
procedures for state and federal law enforcement officials in combating
organized crime.

The Crime Control and Safe Streets Act, which
was passed in 1968 has enabled law enforcement agencies on both federal and
state levels the ability to collect evidence of organized crime through the use
of court-ordered electronic surveillance (Lyman & Potter, 2007). Two years
late in 1970, the Organized Crime Control Act was signed into law. This act was
critical because it gave grand juries more authority, while also authorizing
the confinement of unruly witnesses, and gave approval for the attorney general
to protect compliant federal and state witnesses, along with their families.

During the 1980s, the United States Congress
passed laws that focus on illegal drug trade, which was another money maker for
organized crime. An example of this was in 1984 when the Crime Control Act
extended the power of criminal and civil asset forfeiture laws and applied a
federally regulated sentencing system for guilty offenders (Lyman & Potter,
2007). With these types of forfeiture programs in place, it has allowed law
enforcement agencies to confiscate any compensation received from organized
criminal activities.

Organized crime is not just
individuals perpetrating a series of crimes, it is a process that is used to
tempt weakened societies with the provision of goods and services not otherwise
obtainable through legitimate means (Lyman & Potter, 2007).

of Terrorism

Terrorism streaks fear in
the heart of people everywhere and its usually defined as the use of violence
against properties or people in order to force a change in society. Terrorism
has been going on for centuries and it is nothing new to the American culture,
but it took a big step in the history of terrorism since the terrorist attacks
of 9/11.  A study published in 2011 by
Heritage Foundation shows that international terrorism against the United
States and homegrown domestic terrorism incidents has been going on over 40
years. Terrorism in the United State 
rapidly increased between the years of 
2001-2009 with 471 terrorist attacks, of these 91 are domestic terrorism
or what is considered homegrown terrorism incidents (Muhlhausen & McNeil,
2011). Some of most memorable terrorist attacks against the United States are:
1995 Oklahoma City Bombing, 1996 Atlanta Olympic Bombing, 1999 Columbine
Shooting, 2001 the attacks of September 11, 2012 Sandy Hook Shooting, 2012
Aurora Colorado Shooting, and the 2013 Boston City Marathon Bombing.

The attacks that occurred on September 11,
2001 had the greatest impact on citizens of the United States of any event to
date. Events such as spree shootings and small localized bombings have
instilled thoughts of it can happen anywhere at any time, but this was truly
the eye opener for the capabilities of terrorist in America. All terroristic
activities that have transpired since the attacks on September 11th naturally
have resulted in knee jerk reactions from the citizens of this country. The
Department of Homeland Security, which houses the U.S. Secret Service,
Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, FEMA, the
U.S. Coast Guard, to name a few, was created in the wake of the September 11,
2001 attacks. These agencies employ millions of citizens and control
individuals legally and illegally arriving and departing the United States.

The 1995 Oklahoma City Bombings, Timothy
McVeigh, a former military member and security guard with extreme religious
ideologies planted an explosive laden box truck, which as planted at the
Federal Building located in Oklahoma City. This attack killed 168 people
(Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2013). This is the largest case of homegrown
terrorism to date in the United States (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2013).
After this attack, the American people instantaneously pointed the finger at
the Muslim community, due to the religious extremists that had attempted to
blow up the World Trade Center. Reporting agencies learned that making
assumptions before facts are released can bring an unscrupulous image to that

These terroristic attacks caused a punctual
change in security. One of the greatest structural changes triggered by 9/11
attacks is the formation of the Department of Homeland Security. This
department would envelop many federal agencies, which would allow for more
proficient management, communication, and response in regards to national
security. Of these changes, some would place greater limitations and require
more stringent screenings for individuals trying to enter and exit the United
States. The formation of multiple counter-terrorism task forces and the
development and implementation of training to assist in deterring future
terroristic activities have been implemented since these attacks. The passing
of various legislation that makes up the Patriot Act has had the greatest
impact on citizens as well as visitors to the United States. The Patriot Act,
which permits the government to monitor certain areas of communication without
a search warrant could possibly lead to some violations of citizens Fourth
Amendment rights. The Patriot Act also created the “Terrorist Watch List” and
“No Fly List” which limits and tracks an individual’s movement and activities.
These changes occurred due to spontaneous reaction of the citizens in the
United States to the September 11th attacks.

The 2012 Sandy Hook Shooting, a faculty
member’s son brought a semi-automatic rifle to the school and started the
systematic execution of multitudes of innocent children without due regard to
the laws in place. This shooting greatly impacted the views on weapons in the
United States, and led to the passing of the Investigative Assistance for
Violent Crimes Act of 2012. This act allows the United States Attorney General
to authorize federal assistance for the investigation of violent crimes if
requested by local and state law enforcement (Federal Bureau of Investigation,
2013).  The law enforcement offices
from small town America to the Federal Bureau of Investigation have underwent
momentous change in the areas of training and reporting. The judicial and
correctional systems in the United States have faced some changes as well with
the abilities of law enforcement to hold someone indefinitely if suspected of
terrorist activities (Flaherty, 2011). Terroristic events arise from a
non-discriminatory action, which is controlled by those individuals responsible
for carrying it out.

Moreover, I am conducting a
comparison and contrast to both organized crime and terrorism. Terrorism is
define as the use of violence against indiscriminate people and properties,
whether organized crime can be define as structures who provides illegal
services such as drug trafficking, prostitution, money laundering, gambling.
However, they both are illegally and harmful activities which revolve around
economic interests. Organized crime seeks money to grow out illegally and
terrorism needs it to accomplish a political or social goal. The most
significant source of income for both organized crime and terrorism has become
the drug trafficking which support terrorist and criminal organization. As it
is called different ” Nacro-Terrorism” was the first link between organized
crime and terrorism for the fact that drug trafficking funds are  not only used by terrorist groups to raise
money for weapons, traning and materials for distribution, but also for
political objectives.

Furthermore, both organized
crime and terrorism differ in objective and motivation. Organized crime has
become the easiest and most efficient way to earn money without affecting or
influencing public opinion. However, terrorism uses violence, in form of
hijacking, bombing or other violent acts, to change political system and
alienation of the public opinion. Terrorist groups behavior is inspired by
religious fundamentals, for example the 9/11 attacks were motivated by an
Islamic terrorist while organized crime is motivatived by profit-drive and is
not concerned about affecting others opinion. Different from terrorism,
organized crime has no direct victim or structure, but the main goal is to
offer illegally service to people to grow illegal businesses.

Also, the fundamental
makeup of both organized crime and terrorism has similarities as well as
differences. They are both made up of members similar ethnic backgrounds and
goals. Terrorist groups seek political changes while criminal groups seek
wealth and success. Typically, organized crime groups are organized around a
hierarchy heading by a boss, for example Al Capone, an Italian-American boss of
American Mafia in Chicago, or John Gotti who was another boss of
Italian-American organized crime group in New York. However, in the examining
the structure of terrorist groups has been noticed two categories of
organization: network and hierarchy. For example, al-Qaida organization that
has evolved from a hierarchical organization to a networked organization
(Hamilton, 2007).

In conclusion, though both
terrorism and organized crime may have different approaches and methods of
work, they still share common traits that can be seen in both groups. Through a
hierarchical chain of command, and sharing a common belief in an ideal, members
of both parties have a loyalty to their organizations that keeps their organizations
from detection. The secrecy behind both groups can be uncanny at times, due to
the elusiveness that members take to ensure their organization is not put in
jeopardy. However, with their similarities comes their differences, in which
organized crime does use scare tactics, or large scale bombings and egregious
acts to persuade a population into conforming. With that being said, terrorism
does not always contain the inept and thorough planning that generally goes on
in a planned attack set up by an organized crime group. Through everything that
has been said, it is noteworthy to notice how similar these organizations
really are, and how different their approaches can be when both share a common