Volume 12, Issue 01 (January 2020): Annual Threat Assessment
The January issue provides an overview of terrorist and violent extremist threats in key countries and conflict zones in the Asia-Pacific throughout 2019. Regional specific threats and responses covering Southeast Asia, South Asia, Central Asia, China and the Middle East are assessed. In addition, themes such as the online narratives propagated by global threat groups and counter-ideological dimensions of terrorism and violent extremism are analysed.
Globally, despite suffering severe territorial, leadership and organisational losses in 2019, Islamist terror groups Islamic State (IS) and Al Qaeda (AQ) continued to pose the most potent terrorist threat. Early in the year, IS’ territorial reign was ended by American-backed coalition forces, following which its networks became scattered and, in a bid to overcome its physical decimation, more decentralised across the globe. The death of IS’ “Caliph”, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, in October 2019, raised further questions about the group’s continued resiliency.
Yet, IS has proved persistent and adaptive. The group’s violent ideology continues to bind its myriad followers across regions. In the aftermath of its territorial and leadership losses, IS’ terror attacks and online offensives have been sustained.
The global security landscape was further complicated by the emergence of Right Wing Extremist groups as violent actors on the world stage in 2019. Mass political protests around the world further underscored growing dissatisfaction with the present status quo, amid perceptions that some states are unable to articulate masses’ aspirations and meet their demands.
The threat of Islamist terrorism will persist into 2020, especially with escalating geo-political tensions in the Middle East. Overcoming the physical and ideological threat by global militant groups, including far-right extremist groups, will remain very much a work in progress in the year ahead.
In conclusion, this is the first quarterly issue for the year. The next quarterly will be issued in March-April 2020. Thank you for your continued subscription!
Central Asia / Counter Terrorist Trends and Analyses / Middle East and North Africa (MENA) / South Asia / Southeast Asia and ASEAN
Last updated on 08/01/2020