Vladimir Voronkov – ISIL is no longer focused on conquering and holding territory

Vladimir Voronkov has stated that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh), including their affiliate terrorist organizations, have continued to present huge threats to global peace despite the resounding military campaigns and successes recorded against them.

The UN Chief who serves as a top member of the United Nations counter-terrorism department reiterated that there is need for a strengthened international cooperation among member states, and suggested ways this goal can be achieved.


Image: Vladimir Voronkov

“A unified effort is necessary if the UN is to address violent extremism and bring those behind it to justice,” Mr. Voronkov told the Security Council today.

Speaking further at the UN meeting, he insisted that the rapidly evolving and transnational threat from ISIL presents a difficult challenge for Member States and the international community.

“ISIL is no longer focused on conquering and holding territory, but has pressured into adapting with primary focus on on a smaller and more motivated group of individuals who remain committed to inspiring, enabling and carrying out attacks,” the Russian diplomat and security expert added,

Mr. Voronkov directs the UN Counter-Terrorism Office. His speech was delivered at a Security Council meeting held to ascertain the impact of terrorism on international peace and security, as well as the threats and counter-measures to be taken against terrorist acts.

“To counter the constantly changing threat, we need to stay one step ahead of ISIL,” the UN official stressed, adding that “effective and dynamic approaches must be considered as it continues to adapt and evolve.”

Notably, Mr. Voronkov called for a strong international framework to counter the threat from ISIL through the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy as well as relevant General Assembly and Security Council resolutions, including an efficacious implementation of existing multilateral tools and legal instruments, conventions and protocols.

The Russian diplomat also emphasized that threats from ISIL can be addressed by campaigns aimed at every underlying condition which sways young men and women towards violent extremism, apprehending those who fund terrorists activities, and stifling  spread of propaganda in the media.

There is great need for the international community to address the setbacks in counter-terrorism cooperation at the global, regional and national levels, he said, and called on countries to engage fully at the first ever UN Summit of Heads of Counter-Terrorism Agencies, a global event which has been scheduled to hold later in June.

The UN official informed the 15-member council of the evolving activities of ISIL on social media.

“The terrorists are well-trained in technology use,” he said, making reference to the use of some special encryption methods and communication tools within the dark web, which facilitates their smooth communication links, coordination and facilitation of activities required to perpetrate attacks against organizations, governments and individuals.