What are the “bad actors” in the Indo-Pacific up to as a result of the coronavirus pandemic? Those involved in illicit activities are taking advantage of an environment where nations across the region are focused on immediate health threats over security. The Islamic State (IS) has described the global pandemic as painful torment inflicted upon “crusader nations.” The latest issue of IS’ al-Naba newsletter encourages jihadists to free prisoners and devise new attacks while the West is struggling. But it is not just terrorists who are looking to benefit from the security vacuum that has overpowered the world. Criminal organizations and even nation states themselves have found opportunities to exploit.

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