Declining incomes and living standards due to the COVID-19 pandemic have made it easier for terrorists to recruit new members into their ranks. Head of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Anti-Terrorism Center (ATC) Andrey Novikov said in an interview with TASS that another factor for recruitment is religious radicalization due to social stress.
"Recruitment - and experts in different countries note this - is being made easier not only by the declining quality of life in those countries that even before the pandemic had been at the bottom of the economic rankings but also by the additional effect of prolonged social stress and by religious radicalization. This is a serious challenge to society," the head of the anti-terror center said.
He added that in CIS countries, extremist groups tried to use the negative social effects of the pandemic-related restrictions in order to stoke (primarily via social networks) discontent with the government’s actions. "There is a common understanding that the objective "social fatigue" should be separated from the restrictions introduced and its artificial amplification in order to destabilize the constitutional structure," the official noted.