UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in a report on Friday that as many as 34 militant groups from around the world have reportedly pledged allegiance to the Daesh extremist group. The report added that that number will continue to increase in 2016.
Ban commented that Daesh poses "an unprecedented threat," because of its ability to attract groups from countries such as the Philippines, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Libya and Nigeria and convince them to to pledge their allegiance.
The Secretary General warned UN member states to be prepared for more incidents inflicted by Daesh associated groups traveling to other countries to launch attacks and develop networks.
"The recent expansion of the [Daesh] sphere of influence across west and north Africa, the Middle East and south and southeast Asia demonstrates the speed and scale at which the gravity of the threat has evolved in just 18 months," said Ban.
In addition to the groups sprawling networkds of allegiances, Daesh is also "the world's wealthiest [extremist] organization," Ban said. The group is estimated to be generating $400-$500 million from oil and oil related products in 2015, despite an embargo.
According to the UN mission in Iraq, the total of cash withdrawn from bank branches located in provinces under Daesh control amounted to $1 billion.
The mission estimated that a tax on trucks entering Daesh controlled-territory generates nearly $1 billion a year, he said.
The extremist group captured large parts of Iraq and Syria less than two years ago and despite international efforts to oust them, Ban said Daesh continues to maintain its presence in both countries and is expanding to other regions.
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