COVID sparking a resurgence of ISIL says UN counter-terrorism chief
- Published: Thursday, 11 February 2021 09:12
The United Nations Security Council has been told by Vladimir Voronkov, head of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), that the threat to international peace and security posed by ISIL terrorist fighters is ‘on the rise again’.
“While ISIL has not developed a purposeful strategy to exploit the pandemic, its efforts to regroup and to reinvigorate its activities [has] gained further momentum”, Voronkov said, warning that:
- ISIL, also known as ISIS and Da’esh, have maintained the ability to move and operate, including across porous borders.
- At the same time, the pandemic’s socio-economic toll and political fallout could further render individuals receptive to radicalization and recruitment.
- Some 10,000 ISIL fighters, mostly in Iraq, are pursuing a protracted insurgency, posing ‘a major, long-term and global threat’.
- They are organized in small cells hiding in desert and rural areas.