The panel mentioned U.N. member states, which it didn’t title, assess that as restrictions from the pandemic ease in numerous places, “a rash of pre-planned assaults might happen.”
“The financial and political toll of the pandemic, its aggravation of underlying drivers of violent extremism and its anticipated influence on counter-terrorism efforts are prone to enhance the long-term menace in every single place,” the specialists warned.
The panel mentioned Iraq and Syria stay “the core space” for the Islamic State group — also called IS and ISIL — and Syria’s northwest Idlib area the place al-Qaida has associates is “a supply of concern.”
However the specialists mentioned Afghanistan stays the nation “worst affected by terrorism on the planet.”
Regardless of preliminary optimism after the Feb. 29, 2020 settlement between america and the Taliban and the start of direct talks between the Afghan authorities and the Taliban final September, the panel mentioned the state of affairs within the nation “stays difficult.”
Greater than 600 Afghan civilians and a couple of,500 members of the nation’s safety forces have been killed in assaults since final Feb. 29, the specialists mentioned, and “terrorist actions and radical ideology proceed to be a possible supply of threats to the area and globally.”
The panel quoted unidentified U.N. member states as saying the present variety of ISIL fighters has fallen to between 1,000 and a couple of,200.
Whereas prospects of reviving its former offensive and holding territory “seem distant” ISIL has claimed duty for a lot of latest high-profile assaults, it mentioned.
“Al-Qaida assesses that its future in Afghanistan relies upon upon its shut ties to the Taliban, in addition to the success of Taliban navy operations within the nation,” the specialists mentioned, estimating the variety of al-Qaida members and their associates within the nation at between 200 and 500 unfold throughout at the very least 11 provinces.
The panel mentioned: “Afghanistan stays necessary to each ISIL and al-Qaida, and the peace course of key to suppressing the long-term menace from each.”
In Iraq and Syria, the specialists mentioned there isn’t any indication that ISIL will have the ability to reconstitute its self-declared “caliphate” that when spanned a 3rd of each Iraq and Syria and was defeated in 2017 “within the quick to medium time period.”
However they mentioned the extremist group “will definitely exploit its capability to stay in a area characterised by restricted stabilization and reconstruction prospects.”
An estimated 10,000 ISIL fighters stay lively in Iraq and Syria “waging a sustained insurgency straddling the borders between the 2 international locations,” the panel mentioned.
The vast majority of fighters are in Iraq however face stress from the nation’s safety forces “rendering the nation harder for ISIL operations” compared with Syria the place the de-escalation zone in northwest Idlib stays “a restricted secure haven,” it mentioned.
Elsewhere within the Mideast, the panel mentioned al-Qaida within the Arabian Peninsula suffered setbacks in late 2020 and ISIL in Yemen suffered “substantial losses” in July and August, together with its chief Abu Al-Walid Al-Adeni.
The specialists mentioned Israel’s latest normalization of relations with some Arab international locations “was used as a rallying narrative by terrorist organizations within the area” together with al-Qaida teams which condemned leaders of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain and referred to as on their followers “to retaliate by attacking international pursuits within the area.” An ISIL spokesman additionally referred to as on followers “to assault international nationals in Gulf states” although none have been reported but, they mentioned.
The panel mentioned the extremist teams have made progress lately primarily in Africa.
“Whereas terrorism continues to unfold in West Africa, the area of Cabo Delgado in Mozambique is among the many most regarding areas,” it mentioned.
In Cabo Delgado, the specialists mentioned fighters from the Islamic State Central Africa Province have taken over cities and villages, proceed to carry the port of Mocimboa da Praia regardless of a sustained authorities offensive.
Elsewhere in Africa, the panel mentioned an ISIL affiliate “stays resilient in northeast Sinal regardless of heavy Egyptian navy stress.” Within the Sahel, the Islamic State within the Larger Sahara “suffered vital attrition” in confrontations and on account of counter-terrorism operations however “its command-and-control capability stays efficient,” the specialists mentioned. And in Somalia Al-Shabab continues to focus on navy operations and civilians.
In Europe, the specialists mentioned assaults in Austria, France, Germany and Switzerland between September and November “underscored the enduring menace” from extremists.
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