The Hindu – United Nations, February 6, 2016 – Updated: February 6, 2016 15:02 IST

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon -

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon –

Thirty-four militant groups from around the world had reportedly pledged allegiance to the Islamic State extremist group as of mid-December and that number will only grow in 2016, UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon said in a report.

Mr. Ban said UN member states should also prepare for an increase attacks by IS associated groups from countries such as the Philippines, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Libya and Nigeria, travelling to nations.

“The recent expansion of the ISIL 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,” Mr. Ban said, using another abbreviation for the group.