Infected ISIS jihadis could spread coronavirus to speed up global second wave

Twisted ISIS terrorists could themselves spread the coronavirus to wreak havoc during a second wave, it has been claimed.

Last month a UN report warned that jihadis are plotting a fresh wave of attacks in the West after lockdown restrictions allowed them to “regroup”.

It claimed that ISIS has had a “captive audience” during lockdown which may have boosted its recruitment.

Along with targeted attacks, the terror group may use Covid-19 itself as a weapon knowing contagion among populations could be accelerated by their jihadists spreading it around.

And as countries across the world attempt to stem infection rates, the last thing they need is terrorists trying to fan the flames.

David Otto, counter-terrorism and organised crime expert at Global Risk International, told Daily Star Online: “Jihadist terrorists have no morality.

“The end game for terrorists is to punish infidels, and there is nothing stopping an ISIS sympathiser or an ISIS fighter infected with Covid-19 to go around and infect more people in the name of jihad.”

He added: “The aim would not be to actually kill the people that they’re spreading the virus against but to force a lockdown to weaken and punish the economies of Western countries that would have to treat these infected individuals.

“I cannot count that out as a possible strategy. The key is for extreme preventive vigilance against biological warfare where ISIS has failed in direct combat. Its caliphate has fallen but the ideology is still standing.”

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Though many terrorist organisations have gone underground during the pandemic, Mr Otto warns they could still be hatching jihadist plots.

He continued: “It signifies that terrorists are looking at ways to turn this global pandemic into a gain to suit their perceived goals – how they can launch attacks which would have a more significant impact in a time when most countries are focusing on tackling the coronavirus.”

Security analysts also fear a global recession could help ISIS recruit new members.

The UN report stated: "The impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on terrorism has varied between conflict zones and non-conflict zones and between short and long-term threats.

"Groups are using the outbreak to advance propaganda and fund-raising and, in some regions, are seeking to take advantage of perceptions that the attention of security forces is diverted elsewhere."

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