25 Jan 2018 10:56

Over 5,500 int'l terrorist fighters return to 33 home countries from Iraq, Syria - Voronkov

NEW YORK (UN). Jan 25 (Interfax) - Over 5,000 terrorists "taught to kill" in Iraq and Syria are back to 33 home countries, United Nations Counter-Terrorism Office head Vladimir Voronkov told Interfax in an interview.

"International terrorist fighters are an extremely dangerous phenomenon. The cutthroats, who have learned how to kill in Iraq and Syria, acquired terrorist knacks and skills, and were befuddled by the ideology of death, have done lots of awful things and can do more," Voronkov said.

"There are a significant number of such militants," he said.

"The numbers reached 40,000 on the peak of war for the so-called caliphate in Syria and Iraq, and they came from 110 countries. At least 5,600 international terrorist fighters have returned to 33 home countries. This is a danger to everyone, and we realize that," the senior diplomat said.

The United Nations Counter-Terrorism Office is tasked with "supporting member countries in the protection of their citizens from the increasing danger posed by international terrorist fighters," Voronkov said.

A comprehensive plan is being developed to deal with the threat, Voronkov said. "For now, the plan consists of 50 projects heightening the counter-terrorism potential and rendering technical assistance to interested countries; 31 of these projects are up and running," he said.