The recent series of arrests in Singapore under the Internal Security Act (ISA) of two separate groups of Bangladeshi foreign workers – 27 late last year and a further eight last month – have raised eyebrows.
Why has Bangladesh suddenly come to the fore? As it turns out, the arrests are instructive in three senses. First, it shows how the competition between Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) for leadership of the global extremist movement has become truly globalised.
Second, it drives home how the extremist Islamist ideology – a creed that justifies the violent setting up of an Islamic State – that both Al-Qaeda and ISIS broadly share can thrive in a sociopolitical environment that is conducive to it.
Third, it confirms that the only posture that makes sense in the escalating global conflagration between extremist Islamism and the wider world is one of unapologetic zero tolerance.
… Associate Professor Kumar Ramakrishna is Head of Policy Studies and Coordinator of the National Security Studies Programme in the Office of the Executive Deputy Chairman, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University.
Last updated on 11/05/2016