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U.N. warns pandemic used to fuel extremism

A top counterrorism official advised the U.N. Security Council that terrorists are exploiting the coronavirus pandemic to fuel violent extremism.

Lower Manhattan on the morning of September 11, 2001 from the Brooklyn Promenade
Lower Manhattan on the morning of September 11, 2001 from the Brooklyn Promenade (AN/Jeffrey Bary)

UNITED NATIONS (AN) — A top counterrorism official advised the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday that terrorists are exploiting the coronavirus pandemic to fuel “racially, ethnically and politically motivated" violent extremism.

Vladimir Voronkov, the U.N. counterterrorism chief, said COVID-19 disruptions give terrorists a chance "to benefit from the setbacks to the development and human rights agendas, riding on the wavetops of polarization and hate speech amplified by the pandemic." His warning came at a meeting to commemorate a 2001 council resolution passed in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on the United States.

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