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    26 June 2015

    Foreign terrorist fighters are part of a new "terrorism terrain" that has increased risk to citizens according to UNODC Executive Director

    ULAN-UDE/VIENNA, 25 June (UN Information Service) - The Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Yury Fedotov, warned that foreign terrorist fighters are a deadly threat to home nations, as well as to transit and destination countries.

    "We now confront an interlinked mix of terrorist groups, who are supported by young people. These individuals have been radicalized by skilled individuals through direct contact, the Internet and social media," said Mr. Fedotov.

    To add to these developments, he said, there has been an intensification of the nexus between terrorist groups and transnational organized criminal networks taking place in many parts of the world.

    "Al-Shabaab, Boko Haram, ISIL/Da'esh, ANF, Al-Qaida, and others, receive a sizeable part of their income from organized crime. Money that is then channelled into new terrorist operations, as well as the recruitment, travel, training and integration of [foreign terrorist fighters]," he said.

    To address these interconnected challenges, Mr. Fedotov said, "we must redouble efforts to sever the links between the criminals and the terrorists."

    Efforts should include strengthening national criminal justice capacities to identify and prosecute criminals supporting extremists and terrorists; preventing money laundering; and addressing the ability of terrorists to radicalize and recruit vulnerable and young people.

    Fortunately, he said, the international community recognizes that violent extremism, and its interconnections with other forms of crime, is a "toxic mix that threatens global peace and security."

    Security Council Resolution 2178, in particular, Mr. Fedotov said, deals with countering violent extremism and foreign terrorist fighters; an issue now high on the international agenda.

    The UNODC Chief ended his speech by calling on countries to: "ratify and fully implement, with the support of UNODC, as required, not only the international counter-terrorism instruments, but also the conventions on corruption and transnational organized crime."

    Mr. Fedotov was speaking at the Sixth International Meeting of High-Level Representatives in charge of issues of security held in Ulan-Ude, capital of the Russian Republic of Buryatia, on 25 June. His speech was on international cooperation against the growing threat of the global extremism.

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    To read the speech of the UNODC Executive Director:

    For further information contact:

    David Dadge
    Spokesperson, UNODC
    Phone: (+43 1) 26060-5629
    Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-5629
    Email: david.dadge[at]