Transparency International report claims corruption provokes public anger that allows militant groups to recruit and radicalize.
Western governments need to step up their efforts to combat corruption if they are to defeat jihadists such as the Islamic State group and Boko Haram, Transparency International warned on Tuesday.
Corrupt practices in states such as Nigeria, Libya and Iraq are providing fertile ground for extremists, the organization’s British branch said in a report. “Corruption is the most powerful weapon in the armory of violent extremism,” it said in a 44-page report entitled The Big Spin.
The report said extremist groups drew on public anger at the abuse of power as a means to radicalize and recruit. They also use corrupt officials and their links to organized crime to facilitate financial and arms flows. Corruption also hollows out state institutions that should keep extremist forces in check, the report said.
Airstrikes against the likes of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria are “woefully insufficient” in building long-term stability, which requires accountable governments, the monitor said.
“Radical movements like ISIS thrive when people lose all faith in those in power—when officials profit from the misery of the many, when the police exploit rather than protect, and when economic opportunity is skewed in favor of the connected few.”
Islamic State seeks to portray itself as a countervailing force for political integrity and reliable public service delivery, the report said. “Too many Western governments focus on seeking to influence or moderate the behavior of corrupt autocrats because they see them as an alternative to instability,” it said. “But in the end, corrupt governments are the architects of future security crises.”