HomeNewsBriefEuropol: Al Qaeda Linked to LatAm Cartels?

Europol: Al Qaeda Linked to LatAm Cartels?


The European Police Office (Europol) is "relatively sure" that South American drug traffickers are working with an Al Qaeda offshoot in North Africa to smuggle cocaine into Europe.

A Europol representative told the Associated Press about the alleged links between criminal gangs and a group known as Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), which operates in the region between Niger and Mauritania.

Europol's Troels Oerting said that "North Africa and West Africa is a huge problem area for us because of weak states ... failed states or states that aren't easy to work with."

The comments come as representatives from the U.S., Europe, African and Latin American countries met in Lisbon for a transatlantic conference on international crime.

InSight has reported on evidence that Mexican drug cartels are increasingly operating in West Africa, taking advantage of the weakness of governments in the region to ship drugs through these countries to Europe.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.


What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.


Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.


Related Content

MEXICO / 11 JAN 2016

The President of Mexico's Chamber of Deputies has called for a reopening of the debate on the "single command" security…

MEXICO / 30 NOV 2012

The exit of Felipe Calderon from the Mexican presidency on December 1 marks the end of an era in the…

MEXICO / 4 JUL 2013

A new study claims that up to 200,000 people in Mexico could be involved in death squads, whether at…

About InSight Crime


Guatemala Social Insecurity Investigation Makes Front Page News

10 DEC 2021

InSight Crime’s latest investigation into a case of corruption within Guatemala's social security agency linked to the deaths of patients with kidney disease made waves in…


Venezuela El Dorado Investigation Makes Headlines

3 DEC 2021

InSight Crime's investigation into the trafficking of illegal gold in Venezuela's Amazon region generated impact on both social media and in the press. Besides being republished and mentioned by several…


Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…


InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…


Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…