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UN Report Says Terrorist Activities To Surge After Pandemic-related Restrictions Eases

Terrorists and violent extremists have begun exploiting pandemic-related socio-cultural restrictions and using virtual platforms for recruiting and radicalizing


Image: PTI/Unsplash

Terrorists and violent extremists have begun exploiting pandemic-related socio-cultural restrictions and are now resorting to virtual platforms for recruiting and radicalizing, revealed a UN committee press release on counter-terrorism that highlighted the new challenges that have arisen during the ongoing pandemic era. The committee's report quotes the most recent report about Da'esh, Al-Qaida, and the Taliban, as well as linked individuals and groups, and cautions all countries, particularly those confronting the threat of terrorism.

The UN Security Council's Counter-Terrorism Committee produced a report titled 'The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on terrorism, counter-terrorism and countering violent extremism' in December 2021. The Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team's most recent report on ISIL (Da'esh), Al-Qaida, the Taliban, and associated individuals and entities, that suggests "the pandemic-related restrictions have artificially and temporarily suppressed the threat of terrorism, their easing may result in an increase in terrorist violence," as it was quoted by the committee in its press release.

Terrorist groups from all ideological stripes, it argues, "are already attempting to weaponize social alienation and grievances arising from pandemic-related actions and perceived State excesses." The report implies that the threat of terrorism is only temporarily suppressed as a result of the COVID pandemic restrictions and that once the restrictions are lifted, there will be an increase in terrorist violence.

Terrorists & violent extremists recruiting and radicalizing via online platforms

The report also mentions how the COVID-19 pandemic has aggravated many pre-existing challenges and issues that frame the terrorist threat landscape. According to the report, terrorists and violent extremists have sought to "exploit pandemic-related socio-cultural restrictions, including their efforts to recruit, radicalize, and organize via virtual platforms."

Existing policies and initiatives, according to the report, should be updated to guarantee an adequate response to developing difficulties. It further adds that entire regions have seen catastrophic setbacks, putting socioeconomic progress in danger. These economic effects have exacerbated humanitarian needs, while travel restrictions have limited humanitarian access and outreach at the same time. Some nations have had to divert existing resources away from counterterrorism training and other capacity-building measures as a result of these economic consequences.

Moreover, the report suggests reduced funding may result in a reduction in counter-terrorism and security support, posing new issues for countries most vulnerable to terrorism and normally require such aid. Terrorist recruitment techniques based on economic motives may also have an increasing impact in unstable states already confronting governance issues.

Image: PTI/Unsplash

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