01 September 2015
Since the rise of ISIS, there has been increasing online chatter from Southeast Asian militants fighting in Syria and Iraq. Useful insights can be derived by critically examining surface observations appearing on social media.
Online chatter on Southeast Asian militants fighting in Syria and Iraq can readily be found in extremist websites and the social media accounts of the militants, supporters and sympathisers. The Malaysian Police reported a handful of Malay language sites. The International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR) has detected at least 70 sites in Bahasa Indonesia.
The social media accounts of militants were first detected during the first quarter of 2014. A handful were from Indonesia and at least 35 from Malaysia. Their numbers may be small yet they have served as virtual powerhouses for garnering support online. This has been the case especially for Malaysian militants. A prominent example of a popular social media personality was Malaysian Mohd Lotfi Ariffin, a former Pan Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) leader and Kumpulan Militan Malaysia (KMM) member who subsequently travelled to Syria to become a militant for Ajnad Ash Sham which adheres to the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood. He garnered around 27,000 followers on Facebook during the days when such online accounts had a longer lifespan.
… Nur Azlin Yasin is an Associate Research Fellow and Jasminder Singh a Senior Analyst with the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Omer Ali Saifudeen and Teo Hwee Kuan are analysts with the National Security Coordination Secretariat (NSCS). The four authors are members of the Online Radicalisation Research Community of Practice (ORRCOP) that comprises Singaporean practitioners and subject matter experts involved in research related to online radicalisation.
ICPVTR / Online
Last updated on 16/11/2015