Growing terrorist threat: what it is and what should be done about it (Ambassador Yakovenko, for Russia Today)


Analysts are talking about rapidly growing multidimensional terrorist threats. Recent developments in some parts of the world prove their point. Terrorists are strengthening themselves with ideological backing, diversified funding, recruiting more and more followers. They gain from growing radicalization of societies, often provoked and methodically “fed” by external actors. We witness a growing global threat of terrorist “Caliphate”, served by destructive elements of all sorts. These forces play a role of their own in regional conflicts, destroying opposition movements from inside, feeding on sectarian and ethnical differences. Their strength is doubled from “mutually beneficial” relations with international organized crime. Illegal oil trade has become a substantial source of their income. The terrorist threat becomes even more dangerous with the inflow of so-called foreign fighters from Europe and elsewhere.
These processes are at their worst in the region of Middle East and North Africa, a region where ideological allies of Al-Qaeda, , Jabhat an-Nusra and the like, including ISIS, are operating. They best operate in an environment of either weakened or failed state institutions, the latter resulting from actions of outside powers in the first place. Today, terrorist zealots from Arab states, Europe, Russia and other former Soviet republics, North America, Japan, China and even Australia join terrorist groups not only in Syria and Iraq but also in Mali, Lybia, Afghanistan and Pakistan. This must be stopped.
Evolution of these threats again proves that the international community has to provide a collective response with the central coordinating role of the United Nations. It must be done with strict adherence to international law, basic principles of the UN Charter, including respect for state sovereignty and territorial integrity. Abiding by international law is especially important when use of force is required, as is the case with major threats to international security like ISIS or Jabhat an-Nusra. We also assume that the fight against terrorists cannot and should not be used as a pretext to achieve unrelated geopolitical aims. Such scenarios only lead to growing tensions and further destabilization of the security situation.