Mumbai/19 May 2021/Swonshutaa Dash
At 20 years of the landmark of UNSCR 1373, the chef-d’oeuvre of the global community, the nCoVID-19 pandemic struck the world like a karate chop on the neck, choking all resources, devouring “elites” and citizens alike. As governments turn their focus from counter-terrorism operations to addressing the public health crisis, opportunity knocks at the doors of devils, and maybe devils will be at our doors tomorrow.
Organizations like ISIS have been able to increase recruitment during the pandemic.
CoVID has caused an upsurge in terrorism, threatening to tear apart counter-terrorism forces by the moment. Radicalization and recruitment efforts have been aided by the pandemic, providing a captive audience to terrorist groups, with Al-Qaeda and ISIL having already issued formal statements with intimation for recruits.
Al-Qaeda and ISIL have used the pandemic to raise fear in the minds of people by encouraging jihad wars and conversion to Islam, respectively. Increased expenditure on healthcare and emergency aid services has caused budget deficits to counter-impact anti-terrorism efforts due to loss of budget. The worsening global situation has also rendered the repatriation of former ISIL affiliates, which include many women and children who remain in the Al-Hol camp in Syria, incomplete.
Although CoVID has lessened counter-terrorism efforts, enhancement of certain services during the pandemic may prove as rays of hope for the future of counter-terrorism. Information sharing and policy coordination among states on public health issues have evolved giving rise to several new channels of information-sharing facilitating intra- and intergovernmental cooperation as well as bolstering counterterrorism efforts by improving travel monitoring and border control. Nonetheless, resource reduction in present times will need reevaluating efforts and sustainability of existing frameworks for counter-terrorism.
Another global katzenjammer may await us as we finally start to recover from the grips of the coronavirus. As we prepare for tomorrow, maybe it would not be such a bad idea to learn self-defense.