Brussels: Western anti-terror experts have signalled that there are possible chances of exploiting COVID-19 crisis by terror groups like Pakistan-based Lashkar-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and others like the Hizbul Mujahideen. These terrorist organisations are likely to recruit jihadis for their terrorist activities.
Dr Siegfried Wolf, director of research at the South Asia Democratic Front, a Brussels based think-tank said, “Jihadi groups have a long tradition of exploring crisis situations for their terrorist activities, recruitment and propaganda campaigns in South Asia, especially in the Afghanistan-Pakistam region” when scores of youths lose their livelihood in the economic turmoil that has caused due to coronavirus.
He added,” Already facing an extraordinary challenge, like the current COVID-19 pandemic, the states and their societies are in particular vulnerable in all aspects of daily life. Being aware of this, terrorists try to exploit these conditions to produce maximum fear and to further escalate the crisis with their violent and verbal assaults.”
Junaid Qureshi, director of Amsterdam-based European Foundation for South Asian Studies told ANI, ” It is of course horrific to learn that while the world is fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic, terrorist groups are trying to exploit this turmoil and turbulent times by advancing their agenda and recruitment policies. However, it is not surprising as terrorist groups have an embedded character of exploitation in their modus operandi.”