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Terrorist groups using coronavirus to reinforce influence

A new report, published by INTERPOL, has analysed the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on global terrorism, trends and potential risks related to attacks on vulnerable targets and bioterrorism.

The assessment, which is for law enforcement use only, takes into consideration the following main threat factors: Covid-19 outbreak characteristics and medical advances; global or national response; social climate; resilience of the security apparatus; and strategies and capabilities of terrorists and other non-state actors (NSAs).

The report, which highlights how the impact of coronavirus on the global economy is likely to indirectly affect funding available to terrorist organisations, underlines the critical need to monitor the reaction and response by terrorist networks, violent extremist groups, and other potentially dangerous NSAs.

The INTERPOL report also underscores how the recurring reinstatement of restrictive measures is likely to sustain a degree of civil unrest as well as impact on the choice of timing and targets for terrorist acts.

It includes recommendations and early-warning signs for the global law enforcement community to monitor in addressing these threats.

Jürgen Stock, INTERPOL Secretary General, said: “Terrorists – like all criminals – have sought to profit from Covid-19, to make money, strengthen their base and to fuel division. Our terrorism assessment report is another tool to help law enforcement identify and address these evolving threats, in what continue to be challenging circumstance.”

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