Al-Qaeda and Islamic State using coronavirus to peddle conspiracy theories: UN report

 Terror groups including Al-Qaeda and Islamic State are exploiting the coronavirus pandemic to propagate conspiracy theories that the virus is "God's wrath upon the West" and asking terrorists to use it as a form of biological weapon, a UN report claimed. 

"Groups associated with ISIL and Al-Qaeda have also spread conspiracy theories that assert that the virus is a ''soldier of Allah'' that is punishing the unbelievers and the enemies that have damaged Muslims over the last years. For example, ISIL and Al-Qaeda claimed that the virus is God's wrath upon the West," the report named ''Stop the virus of disinformation: the malicious use of social media by terrorist, violent extremist and criminal groups during the COVID-19 pandemic'' said.

The report that was released on Wednesday by the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) also said the extremist and violent groups are also using the pandemic to strengthen their support networks, undermine trust in government and even weaponise the deadly virus. 

It also said these groups have used social media to peddle Covid-19 conspiracy theories. 

Other than fatwas, the Global Fatwa Index has also identified non-official fatwas that called on ISIS members who are infected with the virus to act as "biological bombs" by "deliberately spreading the disease among the organisation's enemies," the report added.(WION)


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