The crime-terror nexus: Investigating the overlap between criminal and extremist practices, narratives and networks in Tripoli, Lebanon

Principal Investigator

Dr Raphaël Lefèvre

Research Institution

University of Oxford, Department of Politics and International Relations

Project Summary

Tripoli, Lebanon’s second city, has over the past decade witnessed a significant increase in levels of violence. This mainly stems from the progressive merger of criminal and extremist milieux, practices and narratives and from the growing embeddedness of this ‘crime-terror nexus’ in the city’s most marginalized districts.

This project takes Tripoli’s marginalized neighbourhoods as a case study of why and how Transnational Organized Crime (TNOC) becomes rooted in deprived urban communities and increasingly intersects with extremism. Drawing on urban sociology and contentious politics, it investigates the spatial and socio-political dimensions of TNOC’s rootedness and explores how its interaction with terrorist organization takes place within the context of much older local relationships between criminal and rebel groups. To better address the growing threat that the ‘crime-terror nexus’ represents, we must better understand it from below.


‘The Crime Terror Nexus From Below’ relies on collaboration with three local project partners in Lebanon: March, a Lebanese civil society organization leading counter-extremism initiatives in Tripoli, the Berghof Foundation, an international NGO running dialogue and empowerment sessions in Tripoli, and the Carnegie Middle East Centre, Lebanon’s most influential think-tank and advocacy group. Engaging with these partners at the implementation and dissemination stages will allow the project to exert community-level impact, policy and programming impact as well as public-level impact.

Contact Information

For further information, please email Dr Lefèvre at