Five Ways Terrorists Use the Maritime Domain

terrorist activities at sea
Nigerian separatist militants wheel around their war boat on the Escravos River in Southern Nigeria. Photo: Dave Clark/AFP/Getty Images.

The fight against terrorism and criminal networks tends to focus on efforts on land, ignoring the role of the maritime domain. This results in a collective blind spot regarding complex problems like modern-day piracy, non-state terrorism, and transnational criminality. Soft Targets and Black Market: Terrorists Activities in the Maritime Domaina new report from OEF's Stable Seas program, argues that effectively combating violent non-state actors requires considering the ways the maritime space is utilized to promote organized political violence.

The report identifies five specific maritime activies used by non-state actors. The report describes each activity, offering examples from around the world, and exploring the group traits and operating environments that favor each of these five activities. By bringing attention to the centrality of maritime activity to the operations of these groups, we hope to demonstrate that governments cannot afford to overlook the sea and the way it shapes conflicts onshore. 

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