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COVID-19: A Challenge or Opportunity for Terrorist Groups?
Mr Abdul Basit Research Fellow
Mr Abdul Basit
This forum article has been accepted in Journal of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism on 21 September 2020 and will be published in October 2020. It explores new opportunities and challenges amid geopolitical transformation during COVID-19. Whereas terrorist groups are struggling to launch conventional attacks during the lockdown, they have a captive young audience on the internet to recruit and radicalise. Similarly, though travel restrictions have limited the mobility of terrorists; they are spending off time to learn new skills. This article, keeping the above in view, synthesises the opportunities and challenges for the terrorists to assess the evolving terrorist landscape. The persistence of religious terrorism, despite the weakening of Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, alongside the emergence of the far-right terrorism in the West, renders the existing terrorist landscape chronic. While the internet and social media have revolutionised terrorist recruitment and radicalis