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Terrorism under Covid-19

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WHILE the world continues its struggle against the pandemic, nations and organisations are also evaluating its human, economic and socio-psychological costs. The security threat matrix is increasingly being oriented around the perils of the virus, placing less focus on other non-traditional security challenges. Though the threat of terrorism has not shown any visible retreat — in some places it has even enlarged such as in Afghanistan — the world is failing to give it the consideration it did prior to the pandemic.

Experts have indicated that terrorist groups could use the pandemic as an opportunity to increase attacks with a view to adding to the crisis and undermining governments. However, thus far, the intensity and frequency of attacks have not changed much, except with some variations in Afghanistan and parts of Africa. Pronouncing Covid-19 a ‘punishment’ from God, the militant IS group and Al Qaeda have urged their followers to take care of themselves and advised non-Muslims to utilise their time under lockdown to learn about Islam.

Terrorists have time and again proved they are unpredictable. IS has managed many surprise attacks in the last two years, including the Colombo Easter Friday bombings. As long as terrorist networks remain intact, nothing can be predicted of them with certainty.

After the US-Taliban Doha peace deal in February, hopes were high that Afghanistan would experience a significant reduction in violence. Sadly, that did not happen. The attack on a Kabul maternity hospital on May 12 was the most horrific and sickening incident in a recent wave of violence; not even newborns were........

© Dawn

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