Terrorism in Southeast Asia

Topics: Southeast Asia, Islam, September 11 attacks, Islamic terrorism, Indonesia, Terrorism / Pages: 72 (17772 words) / Published: Nov 5th, 2012
Terrorism in Southeast Asia
Bruce Vaughn, Coordinator
Specialist in Asian Affairs
Emma Chanlett-Avery
Specialist in Asian Affairs
Ben Dolven
Section Research Manager
Mark E. Manyin
Specialist in Asian Affairs
Michael F. Martin
Analyst in Asian Trade and Finance
Larry A. Niksch
Specialist in Asian Affairs
October 16, 2009

Congressional Research Service

CRS Report for Congress
Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress

Terrorism in Southeast Asia

Since September 2001, the United States has increased focus on radical Islamist and terrorist groups in Southeast Asia, particularly those in the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and
Singapore. Southeast Asia has been a base for terrorist operations. Al Qaeda penetrated the region by establishing local cells, training Southeast Asians in its camps in Afghanistan, and by financing and cooperating with indigenous radical Islamist groups. Indonesia and the southern
Philippines have been particularly vulnerable to penetration by Islamic terrorist groups.
Members of one indigenous network, Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), which has had extensive ties to Al
Qaeda, helped two of the September 11, 2001 hijackers and have confessed to plotting and carrying out attacks against Western targets. These include the deadliest terrorist attack since
September 2001: the October 2002 bombing in Bali, Indonesia, that killed approximately 200 people, mostly Westerners. Since the Bali bombing in 2002, crackdowns by various governments in the region—encouraged and in some cases supported by the U.S. government and military— are believed to have weakened JI to such an extent that it essentially is no longer a regional organization, but rather is one confined to Indonesia, with some individuals still operating in the southern Philippines. The degrading of JI’s leadership structure is believed to have altered the group’s strategy. More violent, anti-Western JI

Links: Bolster Asia Militants,” The Wall Street Journal Europe, August 31, 2009. 98 Recruiting Militants in Southern Thailand, International Crisis Group, June 22, 2009 rise in violence in 2009.100 Abhisit has pledged to take back some level of policy from the military, and on August 23, 2009, announced that the Southern Border Provinces Administrative “Killings in Southern Thailand on the Rise,” New York Times, August 31, 2009.

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