New CTED Trends Report stresses challenges stemming from returning and relocating foreign terrorist fighters

(NEW YORK, 11 APRIL 2018) The Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) today issued its latest Trends Report.[1] Titled “The Challenge of Returning and Relocating Foreign Terrorist Fighters: Research Perspectives,” the report outlines a number of issues United Nations Member States are facing related to foreign terrorist fighters.

The current wave of foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) shows clear differences compared to previous waves. The present wave is larger, increasingly global, and more diverse in terms of age, gender, and experience in conflict zones. These differences make the potential challenges associated with returnees and relocators significantly greater, but also more complex. One key challenge for Member States is to establish which returning individuals may pose a threat, or act as facilitators for acts of terrorism, in the future.

Despite military progress and enhanced counter-measures by Member States, the fate and location of a large proportion of foreign terrorist fighters is uncertain. Identifying and locating these remaining FTFs remains a critical priority for the international community, and is a major focus of the measures included in Security Council resolution 2396 (2017).

This resolution calls on Member States to develop tailored prosecution, rehabilitation, and reintegration strategies, including programmes that address radicalization in prisons, or are focused on the needs of children associated with foreign terrorist fighters.

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