19 October 2016
The ethnic violence in Rakhine (Arakan) state in Myanmar is being complicated by the involvement of a jihadi group from the Indian subcontinent. The Harakah al-Yaqin’s call for jihad has put the Rohingya at risk along with their cause for survival and self-identification.
The recent Maungdaw border attacks on the Myanmar police by Rohingya militants have brought a new dimension to the conflict between the Rohingya and the Buddhist majority. Foreign-based jihadists are taking advantage of the plight of the Rohingya in Myanmar state’s Rakhine state to pursue their cause.
This is reflected in two online publications of the jihadists. The first was in the April 2016 issue of Dabiq, the mouthpiece of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (ISIS aka ISIL), in which a Bangladeshi jihadist Abu Ibrahim called on others to join him to help the oppressed Rohingya and support them in every possible way. He also warned that ISIL militants in Bangladesh would begin launching operations within Myanmar in time.
The second publication belongs to Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) titled Al-Balagh which is aimed at Bengali speakers. Recently, it referenced the Muslims in Myanmar and the Philippines and urged other Muslims to join their fight against oppression.
Since these statements, a fighting force of between 40 to 250 men had been organised. They planned the attacks on Myanmar border police over three months. They travelled by boat along a coastal route and were aided by “local Muslims” with unsubstantiated links to the Rohingya Solidarity Organisation (RSO) at the time.
… Jasminder Singh is a Senior Analyst and Muhammad Haziq Jani a Research Analyst with the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR), at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
ICPVTR / Online
Last updated on 20/10/2016