Foreign militants fighting for various extremist groups pose ‘significant and evolving’ threat to the global community, a new report published by the UN has revealed.
Released by the UN Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee and its Executive Directorate (CTED), the report noted that foreign terrorist fighters constitute a significant and evolving threat, and also that groups, such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) operate in a quick and adaptable manner.
CTED assistant secretary-general Jean-Paul Laborde said: "With some 30,000 foreign terrorist fighters coming from over 100 countries, terrorism is a global threat, which requires a global response.
"Attempts to resolve these issues effectively through a purely domestic approach will not work.
"Together, we need to urgently step up our efforts and reinforce our preventive capacity across the board – in a flexible and immediate way."
Despite the reinforcement of border controls by the UN member states to prevent suspected fighters from travelling, and YouTube’s assistance in stemming propaganda and the recruitment of foreign soldiers, the militants are allegedly finding it easier to join terrorist groups or to travel to a conflict zone to make direct, anonymous contact with a terrorist recruiter.
In addition, majority of the states have developed the capacity to monitor internet sites, including social media, to prevent online incitement to commit acts of terrorism.
The report made several recommendations to combat the growing threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters, which includes the use of advance passenger information (API) system that enhances border and aviation security and enables states to detect the arrival and departure of potential terrorists.
Despite the adoption of a Security Council resolution on the subject, which requires airlines operating in member state territories to provide API, only 51 states are said to have the technology and only half of them are actually using it.
Laborde called on the UN to increase the organisation’s work with regard to terrorist financing sources and work needed to be done on the legal size, using tools, such as e-Extradion.
Image: The aftermath of a bombing attack in Iraq. Photo: IRIN (file photo).