United Nations: In a rare move, US President Barack Obama chaired a crucial UN Security Council meeting during which a resolution was unanimously adopted demanding that countries take action to stem the flow of foreign jihadists to terror groups like the Islamic State.
"In the Middle East and elsewhere, these terrorists exacerbate conflicts; they pose an immediate threat to people in these regions; and as we've already seen in several cases, they may try to return to their home countries to carry out deadly attacks," Obama said here yesterday.
He said according to US intelligence agencies estimates, more than 15,000 foreign fighters from more than 80 nations have traveled to Syria in recent years and many have joined terrorist organisations such as al-Qaeda's affiliate, the Nusrah Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or the Islamic State (IS) as it is better known.
Calling the legally-binding resolution "historic", Obama said terrorists crossing borders and threatening to unleash unspeakable violence are a challenge in today's interconnected world that cannot be met by any one nation alone.
The resolution decided that member states shall "prevent and suppress the recruiting, organising, transporting or equipping of individuals who travel to a state other than their state of residence or nationality for the purpose of the perpetration, planning or preparation of, or participation in, terrorist acts or the providing or receiving of terrorist training, and the financing of their travel and of their activities..."
It underscored that "the particular and urgent need to implement this resolution with respect to those foreign terrorist fighters who are associated with ISIL , ANF (Al-Nusrah Front) and other cells, affiliates, splinter groups or derivatives of al-Qaeda..."
The resolution requires countries to have laws that permit the prosecution of their nationals and others travelling from their home countries for terrorism purposes.
The countries should also prevent the entry or transit of individuals believed to be traveling for terrorism-related purposes, the resolution said.
Among its other provisions, the text urged member states to intensify and accelerate the exchange of operational information regarding actions or movements of terrorists or terrorist networks, including foreign terrorist fighters.
Obama said that the tactic of terrorism is not new.
"So many nations represented here today, including my own, have seen our citizens killed by terrorists who target innocents," he said, while also noting the murder today of French citizen Herve Gourdel by terrorists in Algeria.