Sunday, June 26, 2016

Southeast Asia Terrorism Threat Assessmen

Gun attacks in Jakarta, beheadings of western hostages in the southern Philippines and a wave of arrests in Malaysia this year have all had one element in common: Islamic State. It seems that 2016 is the year jihadist terrorism under the IS brand has emerged to pose a significantly enhanced threat to business and tourism across Southeast Asia.
Senior officials at the annual Shangri-La security conference in early June underscored the message by punctuating presentations with phrases such as “gathering storm,” “clear and present danger,” and “a deadly and growing threat.” Some independent experts have rated the threat level higher still: in mid-June Alex Bomberg, head of the UK-based Intelligent Protection International was widely quoted in the media as asserting that IS “is ready to do something in Asia” and that “it’s going to happen very soon.”
Access Asia does not share this assessment. We believe that since the Jakarta attack of 14 January 2016, analysis of the regional threat of terrorism has been infused with a degree of hysteria driven largely by the media and by academic experts invested in the study of terrorism and terrorist groups. There has also been a degree of overstatement from national-level leaders, not least Singaporeans, aimed at encouraging more robust regional cooperation on counter-terrorism (CT).
Full article here: