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UN consultants: Africa grew to become hardest hit by terrorism this 12 months

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UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Africa grew to become the area hardest hit by terrorism within the first half of 2021 because the Islamic State and al-Qaida extremist teams and their associates unfold their affect, boasting good points in supporters and territory and inflicting the best casualties, U.N. consultants stated in a brand new report.

The panel of consultants stated in a report back to the U.N. Safety Council circulated Friday that that is “very true” in elements of west and east Africa the place associates of each teams may boast rising capabilities in fundraising and weapons, together with using drones.

A number of of probably the most profitable associates of the Islamic State are in its central and west Africa province, and several other of al-Qaida’s are in Somalia and the Sahel area, they stated.

The consultants stated it’s “regarding” that these terrorist associates are spreading their affect and actions together with throughout borders from Mali into Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Niger and Senegal in addition to incursions from Nigeria into Cameroon, Chad and Niger in west Africa. Within the east, the associates’ actions have unfold from Somalia into Kenya and from Mozambique into Tanzania, they stated.

Considered one of “probably the most troubling occasions” of early 2021 was the native Islamic State affiliate’s storming and temporary holding of Mozambique’s strategic port of Mocimboa da Praia in Cabo Delgado province close to the border with Tanzania “earlier than withdrawing with spoils, positioning it for future raids within the space,” the panel stated.

Total, the consultants stated, COVID-19 continued to have an effect on terrorist exercise and each the Islamic State, also referred to as ISIL, and al-Qaida “continued to brag over the hurt accomplished by the coronavirus illness pandemic to their enemies, however had been unable to develop a extra persuasive narrative.”

“Whereas ISIL contemplated weaponizing the virus, member states detected no concrete plans to implement the concept,” the panel stated.

In Europe and different non-conflict zones, lockdowns and border closures introduced on by COVID-19 slowed the motion and gathering of individuals “whereas rising the chance of on-line radicalization,” it stated.

The consultants warned that assaults “could have been deliberate in varied areas” throughout the pandemic “that shall be executed when restrictions ease.”

The panel stated that in Iraq and Syria, “the core battle zone for ISIL,” the extremist group’s actions have developed into “an entrenched insurgency, exploiting weaknesses in native safety to search out protected havens, and concentrating on forces engaged in counter-ISIL operations.”

Regardless of heavy counter-terrorism pressures from Iraqi forces, the consultants stated Islamic State assaults in Baghdad in January and April “underscored the group’s resilience.”

In Syria’s rebel-held northwest Idlib province, the consultants stated teams aligned with al-Qaida proceed to dominate the world, with “terrorist fighters” numbering greater than 10,000.

“Though there was solely restricted relocation of overseas fighters from the area to different battle zones, member states are involved about the potential of such motion, particularly to Afghanistan, ought to the setting there turn into extra hospitable to ISIL or teams aligned with al-Qaida,” the panel stated.

In central, south and southeast Asia, the consultants stated Islamic State and al-Qaida associates proceed to function “however key management losses in some instances and sustained strain from safety forces.”

The consultants stated the standing of al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahiri “is unknown,” and if he’s alive a number of unnamed member states “assess that he’s ailing, resulting in an acute management problem for al-Qaida.”

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