Officials See Jihadists Looking to Exploit Coronavirus

UN urges better cooperation among anti-jihadist groups

With coronavirus still out of control across much of the world, officials at the UN, US, and elsewhere are warning that various jihadist factions are looking to exploit the situation to try to recover the level of relevancy they once enjoyed.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned that jihadists in the Sahel of northern Africa are particularly eager to try to exploit the situation, calling on countries involved in fighting jihadists there to cooperate better to prevent them getting any new footholds.

US officials are pushing a similar narrative with ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Though there is no real sign ISIS is getting reorganized in any major way, the group is claiming more attacks lately, and with a big focus on coronavirus, many are trying to tie the two situations together.

This makes sense for groups that operate based on their ability to instill fear, who hope to take advantage of the pandemic panic that is already endemic in the areas. The UN has been calling for global ceasefires to focus on the pandemic, though the latest draft of that resolution exempts fighting against ISIS or any al-Qaeda forces.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.