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  • Author: Hamoon Khelghat-Doost, Govindran Jegatesen
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: PENANG—One of the major repercussions following the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington was new interest in certain regions that were previously regarded as of relatively low importance with regard to terrorism hotspots. Southeast Asia is one such example. The extremely diverse ethnic, religious, cultural and linguistic texture of Southeast Asia—coupled with an alarming number of legislative deficiencies—provides a safe haven for many different varieties of extremism. The prevalence of groups such as Abu Sayyaf (the Philippines) and Al-Ma'unah (Malaysia), as well as events such as the 2002 Bali bombing, clearly demonstrate the attractiveness of Southeast Asia as a terrorism hub—and the potential for terrorist activity there. The reasons are obvious. Southeast Asia is home to more than 20 percent of the world's Muslims, making Islamic radicalism a core security challenge for countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, and Indonesia. Indeed, after knowledge of al-Qaeda's extensive global terrorist network was made public, several extremist groups in Southeast Asia were identified as Al-Qaeda regional partners and terrorist cells. These include Jemmaah Islamiah (JI), Abu Sayyaf, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the Islamist separatists of Patani and Laskar Jihad (LJ).
  • Topic: Terrorism
  • Political Geography: New York, Washington, Malaysia, Singapore, Southeast Asia