Date of Graduation

Fall 2012


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

Christopher Harmon


Latin America, radical Islamist groups, terrorist motivations, drug trafficking, criminal relationships

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


Arguably, the efforts of the War on Terror in the Middle East and Southwest Asia have proven successful at eliminating bases of terrorist organizations, financial structures, and operational capabilities. Perhaps, these efforts may lead terrorists to seek out other regions to begin rebuilding their organizations. Latin America has a history of criminal activity and is an area where radical Islamist groups are known to operate. This thesis analyzes why Latin America is an appealing location for terrorists and determines if there is potential for radical Islamist groups to align with criminal entities native to Latin America. Understanding the motivations as well as contemporary events unfolding in the region will assist with evaluating the scope of the radical Islamist presence there. Based on this evaluation, recommendations are offered that could assist with designing appropriate measures for securing U.S. and international interests against potential terror operations emanating from Latin America.


© Marcus Schweinfurth

Campus Only