UN backs strong laws against foreign extremist fighters

September 24, 2014 22:17

The UN Security Council demanded on Wednesday that all states make it a serious criminal offense for their citizens to travel abroad to fight with militant groups, or to recruit and fund others to do so, in a move sparked by the rise of Islamic State.

At a meeting chaired by US President Barack Obama, the 15-member council unanimously adopted a US-drafted resolution that compels countries to "prevent and suppress" the recruitment and travel of militant fighters to foreign conflicts.The UN action was prompted by the rise of Islamic State and al Qaeda's Syrian wing, Nusra Front. Some 12,000 fighters from more than 70 nations have traveled to Syria and Iraq to fight with extremist groups, experts say.

The resolution is under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which makes it legally binding for the 193 UN member states and gives the Security Council authority to enforce decisions with economic sanctions or force.

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