The terrorism threat has grown more severe due to the returning foreign fighters from Syria or Iraq, a trend that could potentially continue into the next decades.

The statement was made by Singaporean Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean at the East Asia Symposium on Religious Rehabilitation and Social Integration held in the city state on April 16.

According to the Deputy PM, who is also Home Affairs Minister, the rise of the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria has exploited Islam, distorting religious tenets to serve a violent political agenda.

The Deputy PM said the new generation of foreign fighters will pose an international security threat for decades to come, able to carry out attacks on their own in their home countries or form terrorist groups after leaving the civil war regions in the Middle East.

Many individuals, especially the youth, have fallen prey to IS propaganda, he added.

The Deputy PM stressed that a purely military response to such a threat is insufficient and social integration is a crucial element in the overall effort to neutralise terrorism in the long-term.

He also noted that a common characteristic among radicalised individuals is weak religious grounding.

The event on religious rehabilitation and social integration brought together experts and practitioners in terrorist rehabilitation from more than 30 countries worldwide.-VNA