In adopting its resolution 2253 (2015), the Security Council expressed its determination to address the threat posed to international peace and security by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Da’esh) and associated individuals and groups and requested that I provide an initial strategic-level report on the threat, followed by updates every four months. In its resolution 2368 (2017), the Council requested that I continue to provide, every six months, strategic -level reports that reflect the gravity of the threat posed by ISIL to international peace and security and the range of United Nations efforts in support of Member States in countering the threat.
The present report is the thirteenth such report. It was prepared by the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team and the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate in close collaboration with the Office of Counter-Terrorism and other United Nations entities and international organizations.
During the first half of 2021, the threat posed by Da’esh to international peace and security continued to rise along the trends observed in the previous report. The threat has further expanded in Africa through the group’s regional affiliates, while the Da’esh core has remained focused on regrouping in Iraq and the Syrian Arab Republic. In areas that experienced lockdowns related to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, especially outside conflict zones, Da’esh has incited attacks that might have conceivably been deferred or planned for execution when restrictions ease. Against that background, the international community reaffirmed during the second Counter-Terrorism Week held at the United Nations in June its resolve to fight Da’esh and address the broader terrorism threat. The forward-looking seventh review of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (General Assembly resolution 75/291), adopted by consensus on 30 June, is a testament to the commitment of Member States to a comprehensive and multilateral response to the evolving scourge of terrorism, during and after the pandemic, with the support of the United Nations system.