ISIS is still a global threat with a $ 300 million warchest despite the loss of its territory in Iraq and Syria, UN counter-terrorism warners
- ISIS defeat in Syria was a & # 39; turning point & # 39; but no & # 39; fatal blow & # 39 ;, expert warns
- Group developed into & # 39; secret & # 39; troops with up to 30,000 hunters and $ 300 million in funds
- It is growing in West Africa and has gained a foothold in Asia, the UN said
- Current silence in terrorist attacks & # 39; is perhaps only temporary & # 39 ;, the Security Council heard
ISIS is still a global threat and orders a $ 300 million warchest despite the loss of most of its territory in Iraq and Syria, an UN counter-terrorism expert said Tuesday.
Vladimir Voronkov, deputy secretary of the American counter-terrorism office, warned that although ISIS's defeat in Baghuz was a & # 39; turning point & # 39; was, it was not a & # 39; fatal blow & # 39; used to be.
The & # 39; group continues to evolve into a secret network & # 39; with hunters scattered throughout the Middle East, West Africa, Asia and embedded in Western countries, he added.
ISIS is still a global threat with a main force of around 30,000 hunters and $ 300 million in funding, a counter-terrorism expert has warned the UN (file image)
Another 70,000 people – many with ISIS ties – remain locked up in the Al-Hawl camp in Syria with their final destiny unclear (photo, prisoners are brought to the camp)
& # 39; This follows the same pattern that we have seen in Iraq since 2017, where ISIS insurgents are said to have been designed to prevent standardization and reconstruction efforts from continuing & # 39 ;, he said, according to UPI.
Voronkov warned Tuesday in a speech to the United Nations Security Council.
Updating members on the fight against ISIS, he estimated that the group has a main force of between 24,000 and 30,000 hunters, against an initial estimate of 40,000 after Baghuz – their last stronghold in Syria – was overthrown.
He said, however, that the group continues to gain ground in West Africa, where it is recruiting and is believed to have an army of around 4,000.
Despite military pressure, there are also thought to be hundreds of thousands of hunters in Asia, he said.
He noted that the group is also starting to focus on places of worship in the region – such as the Sri Lankan bombings – which is a new development and shows how the threat continues to develop.
ISIS is still evolving into a secret group, the UN was told, with the current silence in terrorist attacks & # 39; temporary & # 39; (photo, a wedding in Afghanistan that was attacked by ISIS earlier this month, killing 63)
More than 250 people died and another 500 were injured when bombers who had pledged allegiance to ISIS attacked three churches and three luxury hotels in the commercial capital of Colombo on Easter Sunday.
Meanwhile, around 70,000 people, many of whom are members of ISIS, have been locked up in the Al-Hawl camp in Syria, Mr. Voronkov added.
Although the fate of these prisoners is unknown, Mr. Voronkov warned that Western countries will continue to fight against & # 39; frustrated travelers & # 39; – or ISIS members who have chosen to return home but are sympathetic to the group.
The number of such people is difficult to estimate, he said, while countries are being urged not to make such people stateless for fear that the problem will get worse.
He added that & # 39; the current silence in ISIS attacks … may only be temporary & # 39; and urged Member States to continue investing resources in the fight against ISIS.
The group's latest high-profile attack – in Kabul, Afghanistan – killed 63 people after suicide attacks at a city wedding.
Another 182 people – mostly from the Shia Hazara religious minority – were injured.
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