ISIS global threat grows

Examples of incidents in the USA and China serve to remind us that ISIS global threat grows.

Amin al-Baoudi, a Syrian-born US citizen accused of smuggling weapons to the Al- Nusra Front, has been prosecuted in the US. According to the prosecution, he planned to train fighters in Syria and smuggle in weapons worth USD 30,000.

At a hearing before the US Senate, FBI Director James Comey said that ISIS was working to introduce terrorist operatives into the US or to persuade people, who are already in the US, to carry out attacks in the country. He also expressed concern that ISIS operatives could print passports that look like Syrian passports and pose as refugees from Syria in order to enter the United States.

Vasco Amador from the Cyber Intelligence Company Global Risk Awareness told Security News Desk, “The Al- Nusra Front are not linked to ISIS but the issue of fake Syrian passports is of concern. We have reports we believe to be true that ISIS have captured genuine Syrian passport manufacturing capabilities. Therefore to the outside observer they can produce Syrian passports that seem 100% real.”

He added, European officials have recognised this problem and have made a list of missing Syrian and Iraqi passports contains thousands of serial numbers of genuine passports, which were held at government offices in Syria and Iraq and that have been taken over by terrorist organisations.”

ISIS has published a song in Mandarin Chinese called “Muslim Brothers,” in an attempt to tempt Chinese operatives to join the organisation. The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said that the international community must unite to fight terrorism.

ISIS’s call to extremists in China in Mandarin Chinese is unusual, and it is an indication of ISIS’s interest in recruiting more operatives from China, with an emphasis on Muslim extremist separatists. The Uyghur operatives fighting in the ranks of ISIS in Syria are members of a Muslim minority with separatist tendencies, residing in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region, in northwestern China.

According to a report by counter- terrorism experts in China, Uyghur Muslim separatists have been going to Syria since May 2012 to join the fighting alongside global jihadists. The report stated that their travel arrangements were made by opposition groups in China, which finance their activities through drug trafficking, trafficking in weapons, abduction and robbery. According to initial estimates, they numbered several dozen. However, according to other estimates (December 2014) by Chinese sources, they number around 300.

Vasco Amador added, “We should not underestimate the effort ISIS are putting into expanding their influence across the globe. The first step is recruiting foreign fighters and SE Asia has been a favoured recruiting ground for some time. Foreign fighters who return home posing as refugees with new passports are the greatest threat just as we have seen with the recent attacks in Paris. ISIS will be actively setting up sleeper cells in as many countries as they can.”

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