UN Report Warns of More Terrorists


By Kim Gamel

Associated Press
September 20, 2005

Al-Qaida has spawned a so-called "third generation" of followers skilled in urban warfare and suicide bombings and U.N. sanctions need to be updated to keep up with the changing tactics, a report warned Tuesday. The committee monitoring sanctions against the terror network and the Taliban said the arms embargo, travel ban and assets freeze have been effective but "the combination of sanctions has still not achieved its full potential."

"Al-Qaida continues to evolve and adapt to the pressures and opportunities of the world around it and the threat of a significant attack remains real in all areas," the group said in a report to the U.N. Security Council. "At the same time, there has been a revival of the threat from the Taliban," it said, adding that recent evidence suggests the remnants of Afghanistan's ousted hard-line regime have access to more money.

The report, which was dated Sept. 9 and contained recommendations that will be considered by the U.N. Security Council, was released as Afghanistan faced the fiercest fighting in Afghanistan since U.S.-led forces invaded in late 2001, with more than 1,200 people killed in the six months leading up to Sunday's historic legislative elections. Sanctions currently require all 191 U.N. member states to impose a travel ban and arms embargo against Afghanistan's former Taliban leaders, Osama bin Laden and his terror network and those "associated with" them, and to freeze their financial assets.

The committee recommended more measures to clamp down on terror financing and said the Security Council should consider broadening the arms embargo to keep the groups from obtaining military-quality materials or using chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. It said al-Qaida is seeking to stage more massive attacks to gain media exposure and an effective embargo would force militants to use less efficient equipment or risk discovery trying to procure more effective means. "Terrorist tactics have evolved over the past several years and the (monitoring) team believes the arms embargo should change with the times," the report said.

It said no state had reported an attempt to breach the arms embargo but it noted implementation often was complicated in some post-conflict regions or areas beyond government control, such as in Somalia and Afghanistan. The committee's report said al-Qaida's message remains the same but its operations have expanded to comprise three groups _ bin Laden and his deputies, fighters who trained in Afghanistan and new recruits alienated by world events who form cells locally. It described the new recruits as a third "new and growing generation of supporters who may never have left their countries of residence but have embraced the core elements of the al-Qaida message." "These cells are emerging as the main threat posed by al-Qaida terrorism today," the report said. "They are bound to the al-Qaida leadership by an overall unity of purpose but remain independent, anonymous and largely invisible until they strike." They often receive training from "the veterans of Afghanistan or other areas of conflict" or travel to Iraq to gain skills in urban warfare, bombmaking, assassination and suicide attacks, then return home where they pose an increased threat.

The report came more than a month after the Security Council adopted a resolution expanding the sanctions to spell out for the first time who is included among associates of al-Qaida and the Taliban. It also stated that people who finance or plan acts to support the outlawed groups and who recruit or provide weapons for bin Laden, al-Qaida, the Taliban "or any cell, affiliate, splinter group or derivative thereof" will face sanctions.

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