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Why ISIS remains a threat

10 takeaways to understand why ISIS still poses a threat to the international community:

  1. ISIL remains a threat as a global organization with centralized leadership, despite a fall in international attacks and plots in 2018. This threat is increased by returning, relocating or released foreign terrorist fighters.

  2. ISIS central leadership retains an influence and maintains an intent to generate internationally-directed attacks and thereby still plays an important role in advancing the group’s objectives.

  3. “Frustrated travelers”: those who have failed to reach the core conflict, may contribute to increasing the threat, like it is the case in Europe and South-East Asia.

  4. Radicalization in prison: poses a serious threat in particular in Europe and Iraq. Close monitoring inside and outside prison is needed.

  5. Radicalized women, and traumatized young teenagers are pointed out as challenges and potential serious threat.

  6. ISIS could sustain its operations through accessible reserves, in cash or investment in businesses, ranging between $50 and $300 million.

  7. ISIS cells can still generate revenue through criminal activities.

  8. In Afghanistan, ISIS is reported to control some training camps, and to have created a network of cells in various Afghan cities, including Kabul.

  9. ISIS has continued attempts to expand its area of activity in Central Asia. For South-East Asia, there is an increasing role of young people and women in terrorist operations in the region.

  10. The international community still needs a well-coordinated multilateral response to address this challenge.


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