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UN: Over 10,000 ISIS Fighters Active in Iraq, Syria

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 More than 10,000 ISIS fighters are estimated to remain active in Iraq and Syria two years after the militant group’s defeat, and their attacks have significantly increased this year, the U.N. counter-terrorism chief said Monday.

Vladimir Voronkov told the U.N. Security Council that ISIS fighters move freely “in small cells between the two countries.”

He said the ISIS extremist group has increased  its activity not only in conflict zones like Iraq and Syria but also in some regional affiliates.

“However, in non-conflict zones, the threat appears to have decreased in the short term,” he said. “Measures to minimize the spread of COVID-19, such as lockdowns and restrictions on movement, seem to have reduced the risk of terrorist attacks in many countries.”


Nonetheless, Voronkov said, “there is a continued trend of attacks by individuals inspired online and acting alone or in small groups, which could be fueled by ISIS’s opportunistic propaganda efforts during the COVID-19 crisis.”

He said the COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the challenges of eliminating the threat of terrorism, pointing to actions by ISIS and other terrorist groups seeking “to exploit the far-reaching disruption and negative socioeconomic and political impacts of the pandemic.”
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