Narco-terrorism is a term that explains drug trafficking cartels/organised crime groups which resort to terrorism to achieve their aims. Narco-terrorism can happen in many contexts. Transnational organised crime groups can use terrorism as part of their illicit activities. Drug cartels/criminal groups may infiltrate the state and economy, creating a failed state and narco-economy, resulting from narco-wealth saturating politics and economy. The state power can embolden the use of terrorism to achieve criminal aims. Narco-terrorism can also be behind the phenomenon of the mafia state, in which state officials are involved in an illicit criminal enterprise, often resorting to terrorism against their opponents.
The link between narcotic wealth and terrorist financing shows how a criminal enterprise can contribute to terrorism. All these phenomena show how criminals opt to use terrorism to achieve their aims or crime groups and terrorist organisations opt to interact; the latter case is explained as crime-terror convergence. Worryingly, narco-terrorism contributes to building a worldwide illicit economy, where criminality and terrorism collaborate for practical purposes. It decays the rule of law, threatening liberal democracy and the post-World War II rules-based international order.