Douglas termed the drugs trade and other criminal activities in the West Africa as 'becoming institutionalized,' especially in Guinea Bissau and increasing so throughout the coastal states. She indicated that the UK has a good understanding about how the drugs arrive to West Africa, but not how they go North from there and how they are related to terrorist issues. Carter said the Northern transit routes are varied across land, air, and sea and that to date there is no information to indicate that the narcotics trade has links with terrorist activities, in particular AQIM. He did add that the Hizbollah networks in West Africa might tap into the drug trade due to its high levels of profit. Douglas agreed it was important to stymie the drug trade before it becomes more institutionalized, before it destabilizes the region further, and before terrorists begin using it as a source of revenue.
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