14 January 2016
A “Paris-style” suicide strike on the Indonesian capital today (Jan 14) confirmed South-east Asian governments’ worst fears — that citizens returning from fighting alongside the Islamic State group in the Middle East could launch attacks at home.
Regional nations have been warning for months about the possibility of an attack, mirroring concerns expressed by the European authorities fearful of the intentions of people returning home from conflict.
The blasts and gunfire that rocked Jakarta came after six years of relative calm, following a government crackdown that weakened the country’s most dangerous home-grown Islamic networks.
“We know that (ISIS) has the desire to declare a province in this region and there are groups in this region … that have pledged allegiance to (ISIS),” said Associate Professor Kumar Ramakrishna, an expert on South-east Asian militant groups at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS).
… RSIS regional terrorism expert Professor Rohan Gunaratna urged regional governments to work together to prevent the creation of a satellite of the ISIS caliphate.
“If such a satellite is declared, the threat in South-east Asia will grow,” he warned. “There are groups based both in Indonesia and the Philippines that have pledged allegiance to ISIS and those groups must be dismantled.”
GPO / ICPVTR / RSIS / Online / Print
Last updated on 15/01/2016