05 January 2016
Chinese Uighurs are adding a new dimension to the threat of terrorism in Southeast Asia. Battle-hardened, ideologically fortified and networking with Islamic State, the Uighur militants pose a new challenge to the region that can also complicate ties with China.
A few days prior to Christmas in December 2015, Densus 88, Indonesia’s National Police counter-terrorism squad, arrested 11 militants who were planning to carry out bombing operations in Indonesia. Among them was an Uighur, arrested in Bekasi, in the outskirts of Jakarta. The Uighur was being trained to be a suicide bomber. Two of his compatriots escaped.
The trio is believed to have entered Indonesia in October through Batam, an Indonesian island south of Singapore, after transiting through Thailand and Malaysia. Earlier, another seven Uighurs entered Indonesia illegally with three of them believed to have joined Santoso’s militant group in Poso. Indonesian security officials are investigating the arrested Uighur’s link with the August 2015 Bangkok bombing by Uighurs that killed 27 people and injured 120. The arrest of the Uighur in Jakarta is part of a new development in the regional terrorist landscape with non-Southeast Asians, mainly through links with Islamic State, posing a serious security threat to the region.
… Bilveer Singh is an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Centre of Excellence for National Security, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
CENS / Online
Last updated on 06/01/2016