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About 30,000 foreign Jihadists fight in Iraq, Syria: UN

Former French judge urged greater cooperation with internet giants like Google, Twitter and Microsoft to help track potential terrorists online

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Syrian war. Image source: www.cnn.com
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  • IS Jihadist group is able to adapt much faster and more flexible than the governments fighting them
  • IS has shown a “remarkable ability to adapt” such as seeking new funding sources like drug smuggling
  • Terrorist attacks in Syria and Iraq are getting bigger and bigger to counter-balance the pressure on them

GENEVA, July 6– There are almost 30,000 foreign jihadists fighting in war-ravaged Syria and neighbouring Iraq currently, the head of the UN Security Council’s counterterrorism agency said, warning that the risk of attacks in their home countries was growing.

“The number of foreign terrorist fighters is very high inSyria and Iraq,” said Jean-Paul Laborde, UN assistant secretary general and head of its counter-terrorism Committee on Tuesday, July 5.

“There are nearly 30,000, and now that the territory held by Daesh (the Islamic State group) is shrinking in Iraq, we are seeing them return, not only to Europe but to all of their countries of origin, like Tunisia, Morocco,” he told reporters in Geneva.

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The figure is based on information compiled from governments, he said.

Attacks launched by foreign fighters returning to their home countries were likely to increase in ferocity, in retaliation for international military action that is putting them on the back foot, Laborde warned.

“The terrorist attacks in those countries of origin risk getting bigger and bigger to counter-balance the pressure on them” on the ground in Syria and Iraq, he said.

Syria War. Image source: www.nbcnews.com
Syria War. Image source: www.nbcnews.com

Another danger is that terrorist organisations like the Islamic State jihadist group have shown themselves able to adapt much faster and more flexible than the governments fighting them, Laborde warned.

IS has shown a “remarkable ability to adapt” such as seeking new funding sources like drug smuggling, even as the territory it controls has been shrinking, he said.

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The former French judge urged greater cooperation with internet giants like Google, Twitter and Microsoft to help track potential terrorists online and urged states to share more information faster.

“If we don’t do that, we will continue to see a growing number of terrorist acts,” Laborde said. (IANS/AKI)

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  • Aparna Gupta

    30000 is a large number and will require quite an effort from the government side to counteract.

  • Karishma Vanjani

    Jihad a word very well misinterpreted. Now referencing only to extremist groups it once related to a fight against ones inner demons.

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UN Agencies and Bangladesh Government Advances to Prevent Further Deforestation

Dillon says disappearing forests are putting great pressure on the animals in the region.

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A deforested section of the Chakmakul camp for Rohingya refugees clings to a hillside in southern Bangladesh, Feb. 13, 2018. VOA

U.N. agencies and the Bangladesh government have begun distributing liquid petroleum gas stoves in Cox’s Bazar to help prevent further deforestation, which has been accelerating with the huge influx of Rohingya refugees during the past year.

Cox’s Bazar is home to large areas of protected forest and an important wildlife habitat. The arrival of more than 700,000 Rohingya refugees fleeing violence and persecution in Myanmar has put enormous pressure on these precious resources.

U.N. Migration Agency spokesman, Paul Dillon tells VOA, the refugees have been cutting down the trees and clearing land to build makeshift shelters. He says they and many local villagers also rely almost exclusively on firewood to cook their meals.

“Consequently, the forests in that area are being denuded at the rate of roughly four football fields every single day. We are told by the experts at this rate, by 2019 there will be no further forests in that area,” he said.

Deforestation
Deforestation

Scientists note deforestation has devastating consequences for the environment leading to soil erosion, fewer crops, increased flooding and, most significantly, the loss of habitat for millions of species.

Dillon says disappearing forests are putting great pressure on the animals in the region.

“It interrupts migration pathways and regrettably forces these, sort of, artificial confrontations between animals in the wild and communities as they move into areas that have been logged out often-times in search of arable farmland and that type of thing,” he said.

Also Read: First Satellite Launched by Bangladesh

The project aims to distribute liquid petroleum gas stoves and gas cylinders to around 250,000 families over the coming months. U.N. agencies say the stoves will have additional benefits besides helping to prevent deforestation.

For example, they note smoke from firewood burned in homes and shelters without proper ventilation causes many health problems, especially among women and children who spend much of their time indoors. (VOA)