UN Suggests Covid Restrictions Kept ISIS Limited in Many Countries

Group had to adapt as Covid restrictions rose

Exact details are yet to be figured out, but UN under-Secretary General of counter-terror Vladimir Voronkov says that the Covid-19 lockdowns imposed worldwide forced ISIS to adapt its strategies, and limited their ability to try to carry out attacks in many countries.

Voronkov says lockdowns have reduced the risk of terror attacks in a lot of countries, but that ISIS has instead focused on Iraq and Syria, where they already had a presence. International travel is getting harder for them during the pandemic.

It’s not just a question of where, however. With more people confined to home and working online, they say ISIS is more focused on cybercrime as a source of funding. Again, the UN says the overall impact on their finances isn’t clear.

ISIS operations seem limited anyhow, and it’s not clear that when the Covid-19 restrictions end the group is any more liable to act. Officials are keen to emphasize ISIS’s ambitions, to keep it a focus for funding and acting against, but the group is largely still defeated.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.