Islamic State Threat Moves Online, Expands Across Africa: Senior Counter-Terrorism Expert 

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Two decades aft the 11 September violent attacks successful New York, panic networks Al-Qaida and Islamic State – besides known arsenic Da’esh – proceed to airs a sedate menace to bid and security, adapting to caller technologies and moving into immoderate of the world’s astir fragile regions, the apical UN counter-terrorism authoritative told the Security Council connected Thursday. 

UN counter-terrorism main Vladimir Voronkov presented the Secretary-General’s latest report on the threats posed by violent groups, saying that Da’esh continues to exploit the disruption, grievances and improvement setbacks caused by the pandemic to regroup, enlistee caller followers and intensify its activities – some online and connected the ground.    

Ever-evolving threat 

“Today, we look transnational violent threats like Da’esh and Al-Qaida that are enduring and able to accommodate to new technologies, but besides expanding to include individuals and groups that perpetrate terrorist attacks connected to xenophobia, racism and different forms of intolerance”, said Mr. Voronkov. 

The UN counter-terrorism architecture, mostly acceptable up successful the aftermath of the 9/11 attack, helps Member States instrumentality effectual frameworks to prevent, address, analyse and prosecute acts of terrorism.  

It is besides ramping up efforts to assistance countries accommodate to the rapidly changing quality of the threat, which has become much digital and de-centralized successful caller years.  

Noting that the satellite is presently witnessing a rapidly evolving concern successful Afghanistan “which could person far-reaching implications” astir the globe, helium cited Da’esh’s expanded beingness successful that state and pointed retired that respective members of the Taliban person been designated arsenic terrorists by the Security Council.   

We volition request to guarantee that Afghanistan is ne'er again utilized arsenic launching pad for planetary terrorism", stressed the UN official. 

He briefed the Council connected the eve of the 4th commemoration of the International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism, observed annually connected 21 August. 

Islamic State successful Africa 

While Da’esh remains focused connected reconstituting its capabilities in Iraq and Syria, Mr. Vornkov said the astir alarming improvement successful caller months is the group’s relentless dispersed crossed the African continent.

The alleged “Islamic State successful the Greater Sahara” has killed respective 100 civilians since the commencement of 2021 in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, portion the group’s “West Africa Province” will likely gain from the weakening of Boko Haram, with further spillover of terrorists and overseas fighters from Libya. 

Meanwhile, the expansion of Da’esh successful Central Africa – and particularly in northern Mozambique – could person far-reaching implications for bid and information successful the region. 

A planetary effect is urgently needed to enactment the efforts of African countries and determination organizations to antagonistic terrorism and address its interplay with conflict, organized crime, governance and improvement gaps”, said Mr. Voronkov.  

Repatriating women and children 

Alongside Da’esh’s enlargement successful Africa and its accelerated displacement online, Mr. Voronkov besides cited the continued detention of thousands of individuals with alleged links to violent groups arsenic different origin exacerbating the threat. 

Deteriorating conditions successful detention facilities and displacement camps successful northeast Syria, successful particular, are serving arsenic a rallying outcry for violent activities.  They person already fuelled instances of violent radicalization, fund-raising, arms smuggling, grooming and incitement to terror. 

Against that backdrop, helium echoed calls from officials crossed the UN for Member States to voluntarily repatriate each acrophobic individuals, with a particular absorption connected children.  

In September, the Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) volition jointly motorboat a planetary model to enactment countries requesting assistance with protection, voluntary repatriation, prosecution, rehabilitation and reintegration of individuals with suspected links to designated violent groups returning from Iraq and Syria. 

The framework has already been deployed successful Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. 

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