November 1, 2010 James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, Rice Univeristy
In the past 10 years, the rehabilitation of Muslim radicals has become a pressing issue. Great
numbers of radicals have passed in and out of various incarcerating institutions and are returned
to their societies where they frequently rejoin radical groups, sometimes more radicalized and
technically proficient than they were prior to their incarceration. Both Muslim and non-Muslim
governments have sought different methods to rehabilitate radicals, ranging from arranging
debates between radicals and mainstream Muslim religious elite to confronting them with
betrayals and denunciations by relatives, friends, and associates. There are also full-scale “reeducation”
camps. This policy paper will seek to evaluate these methodologies and propose for
the United States a workable policy for re-integrating radicals into society, thus defusing the
power of recidivism....
September 22, 2009 Stanford Journal of International Relations // Stanford University
Piracy in the Straits of Malacca is a large and growing concern for the world. Not only does it cause economic havoc in a critical region, but this piracy may also have connections to terrorism and has the potential to cause an ecological disaster. However, attempts by outside states to establish security regimes have repeatedly run into sovereignty concerns from the coastal states in the region: Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and Thailand. Instead of persisting in this failed strategy of externally imposed solutions, interested parties should focus on aiding the creation of an internal security regime through aid and logistical support. Building the capacity of the local navies to patrol the region is the most acceptable and effective solution towards ending piracy in the long run....
December 21, 2007 Jebsen Center for Counter-terrorism Studies
It has been five years since the devastating terrorist attacks by Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) in Bali
killed some 202 people, making it the most lethal terrorist attack since 9/11. In the three
years that followed, JI perpetrated attacks on an annual basis. Since the most recent attacks
in October 2005, JI has suffered a string of defeats, including the November 2005 killing of
its master bomb-maker, Dr. Azahari bin Husin. Since then, JI has not been able to perpetrate
a major terrorist attack against western targets, though it has reached advanced stages of
planning before being thwarted. In June 2007, JI’s two senior-most leaders, Abu Dujana
and Nu’aim, were arrested, a blow that raised questions about the group’s future.
This article, the first in a series on the state of terrorism and insurgency in Southeast Asia, will
identify JI’s prospects in the coming years and explain the group’s resiliency....
May 14, 2007 Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Today, less than five years after the attack on Bali, the situation in Southeast Asia has changed dramatically. Across the region, jihadist groups like Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiah are struggling to survive, Islamist parties seem to be weakening, and the region's newest leaders openly wage war on terror. Moreover, the United States has played a leading role in these successes, and it has done so without creating much in the way of an anti-American reaction. Indeed, Southeast Asia is proving to be a model for the "long war" against Islamist terror. The lessons of its recent progress deserve to be studied closely....
In 2005, more than 62,000 ships sailed through the Straits of Malacca, one of the world's busiest and most important shipping lanes. Linking East and Southeast Asia with the world, one third of world trade and half of global oil pass through the Straits. With projected growth in global trade and the rise of East Asian economies, financial demands can be expected to grow on the littoral statesxe2x80x94namely Malaysia, Indonesia and Singaporexe2x80x94to ensure navigation safety and control marine pollution. In addition, the heightened perception of risk to ships traversing the Straits due to threats of piracy and terrorism has led to increased security costs. Considering that an estimated 80% of vessels traversing the Straits are on transit, the littoral states have called for burden sharing in various meetings and conferences over the years. However, there has been little follow-up by the stakeholders to collectively address the issue, and still less effort to come up with an acceptable and workable operating mechanism. Drawing on presentations at the recent International Maritime Organization Meeting (IMO) in Kuala Lumpur, this article presents a case for burden sharing in the Straits....
December 11, 2006 Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars // Environmental Change and Security Project
A narrow waterway dividing Sumatra and western Malaysia, the Strait of Malacca is a hub of global trade and one of the world's busiest sea lanes. But piracy and terrorism may jeopardize the safe transport of freighters, potentially threatening the region's energy security and increasing the risk of pollution from security measures like controlled burns for land clearing. Summary, presentations, and video online.
September 7, 2010 Combating Terrorism Center // West Point
Reports: 1 Al-Qa`ida’s Five Aspects of Power By The Combating Terrorism Center; 5 A Case Study of the January 2008 Suicide Bomb Plot in Barcelona By Fernando Reinares; 8 A Holistic Critique of Singapore’s Counter-Ideological Program By Kumar Ramakrishna; 11 Shifting Trends in Suicide Attacks By Assaf Moghadam; 14 The Future of Moqtada al-Sadr’s New Jaysh al-Mahdi By Babak Rahimi; 17 Reconsidering the Role of Militias in Iraq By Major James J. Smith, U.S. Army; 19 The Pakistan Army and its Role in FATA By Shuja Nawaz; 21 Iraq’s Border Security: Key to an Iraqi Endstate By LTC Steven Oluic, U.S. Army...
Thousands of international troops remain in Afghanistan, but some members of this coalition are more willing than others. FP looks at whose militaries are pulling their weight—and who could do far more.
Singapore is a destination country for a limited number of women and girls trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Some of the women and girls from the People's Republic of China, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam who travel to Singapore voluntarily for prostitution or non-sexual work are deceived or coerced into sexual servitude in the city-state. A small minority of foreign domestic workers in Singapore face seriously abusive labor conditions that amount to involuntary servitude, a severe form of trafficking....
January 12, 2005 Minorities at Risk Project // Center for International Development and Conflict Management // University of Maryland
The Malays are widely dispersed across the small island state of Singapore. Most group members immigrated to the country after 1945, mainly from Indonesia but also from Malaysia. In the north, Singapore is separated from southern Malaysia by a narrow strait of water and in the south it is in close proximity to Indonesia. While Malays are the majority in both states, the Chinese are economically dominant in Malaysia and Indonesia. Group me#mbers speak Malay in contrast to Mandarin Chinese, the language spoken by majority who constitute about 77% of Singapore's population. In addition, the Malays are Sunni Muslims while the Chinese are either Buddhists or Christians. The two communities have different social customs and although they are from different racial backgrounds there has been substantial intermixture. Singapore also has minority Indian and European populations. The Malays have two of the four factors that increase the chances of future protest: significant political and cultural restrictions and the transitional nature of Singapore's political system. Whether the Chinese-dominated People's Action Party is willing to allow for greater Malay political participation along with helping to further the group=s economic status will likely influence the future course of Malay activism....
Jemaah Islamiyah ("Islamic community" in Arabic) is a militant group active in Southeast Asia and dedicated to establishing a Muslim fundamentalist state in the region. The group has been blamed for the Bali bombings in October 2002, the Marriott hotel bombing in Jakarta in August 2003, the bombing of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta in September 2004 and a series of bombings elsewhere in Indonesia and the Philippines.
Coveted for its hydrocarbon resources and its geographical location on the main international sea routes, the Spratly archipelago is a focus for the ambitions of the southeast Asian countries. By unilaterally asserting its sovereignty over the greater part of the China Sea, in a law adopted in February 1992, China sought to strengthen its great-power credentials and its control of the region. Sources : Virginie and Sonia Raisson, Lépac, Paris.
May 23, 2009 Carnegie Endowment for International Peace // The Washington Post
What to do with the Guantanamo detainees? Uncertainty resurfaced last week, as the Obama administration backed away from earlier statements on U.S. anti-terrorism policies. The president reversed a decision to release photographs of alleged detainee abuse. Then he decided to keep the military commissions for trying terrorist suspects. The White House is now reportedly considering plans to detain some suspects on U.S. soil indefinitely, without trial.
As the administration struggles over the fate of the 241 remaining detainees in its charge, it may want to look to an old Asian ally for a hand.
Meet Ustaz Ibrahim Kassim, one of Singapore's most respected Islamic scholars. His business card describes him as "Assistant Registrar of Muslim Marriages." But Kassim is engaged in a more important enterprise. He is part of his country's innovative program to fend off the threat of Islamic extremism. "We are not scared of [the terrorists]," says Kassim, an older gentleman with a face framed by a neatly trimmed white beard. "We know that history repeats itself, but these problems do not need to be passed on."...
June 1, 2007 Singapore Institute of International Affairs
This week, a deal was signed that might just change the destiny of some East Asian countries.
The deal involved a US$7 billion 300 km pipeline to be laid across northern Malaysia (from Kedah state on the northwestern coast to Kelantan state in the northeast) that will divert up to a third of oil now being carried through the Malacca Strait. Work will begin next year looking for completion in 2014. Expectations are that the pipeline would be made profitable by the demand from oil-hungry China.
The challenge now is to determine whether it is cheaper to transport oil by the proposed pipeline or by tankers to Singapore. Another issue raised is whether Islamic insurgencies in Southern Thailand which is a stone's throw away from the pipeline would be as destabilizing as piracy in the Straits of Malacca. Many in the industry will be watching closely....
January 20, 2011 Singapore Institute of International Affairs
The complexity of the Singapore–Myanmar relationship was reflected in the breadth of opinion offered by participants who attended a roundtable discussion hosted by the Singapore Institute of International Affairs on September 30, 2009. Leaders from the Singapore academic, business, and nongovernmental organization (NGO) communities attended the meeting. Their contributions are graciously acknowledged and provide a strong foundation for this report. Although the group did not reach an overarching consensus on how Singapore should engage Myanmar, the participants did reach conclusions on several points while illuminating many aspects of the relationship. The discussion reflected differences over Myanmar among the different sectors of society represented in the dialogue, as well as shifting public opinion of Singapore’s own image and responsibilities. The group highlighted several concerns about the Myanmar situation and Singapore–Myanmar relations, some gleaned from the group’s uniquely Singaporean perspective. At the meeting’s end, the group proposed a spectrum of options for considering policy recommendations.
This report summarizes the dialogue in four sections. First, the overall outlook on Myanmar is presented. Second, Singapore’s involvement with Myanmar in four sectors is described: government and diplomacy, business and trade, humanitarian aid and technical assistance, and military ties. Third, Singapore’s policy options are discussed and sketched on a spectrum from “proxy” to “pragmatic” to “principled” approaches. Finally, the report suggests how Singapore’s strategy fits into regional and global contexts....
January 18, 2011 The FATA Secratariat Capacity Building Project, International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University
To assist Pakistan in building a national rehabilitation
programme, the Government of Pakistan has engaged
Singapore’s International Centre for Political Violence
and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR) since 2008. ICPVTR staff
held meetings throughout Pakistan to build support in
laying the foundation for a rehabilitation programme.
This included meetings with both political leaders and
The vision of building a structured rehabilitation
programme for inmates and detainees driven by terrorist
and extremist ideologies was shared by Mr. Tariq Pervez,
chairman of the National Counter Terrorism Authority
of Pakistan, when he participated at the inaugural
International Conference on Terrorist Rehabilitation held
in Singapore on 24-26 February 2009. The paper was aptly
entitled “Challenges of Establishing a Rehabilitation Programme in Pakistan.”
Nonetheless, the initiative to launch the rehabilitation
programme in Pakistan is a natural progression....
Deradicalizing Islamist extremists may be even more important than getting them to simply disengage from terrorist activities, according to a new RAND Corporation study that examines counter-radicalization programs in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Europe.
Although there has been much research about the radicalization and recruitment of Islamist extremists, there has been little study until recently about how one deradicalizes those who have been recruited into the Islamist extremist movement.
A key question is whether the objective of counter-radicalization programs should be disengagement (a change in behavior) or deradicalization (a change in beliefs) of militants. A unique challenge posed by militant Islamist groups is that their ideology is rooted in a major world religion, Islam.
The RAND study indentifies and analyzes the processes through which militants leave Islamist extreme groups, assesses the effectiveness of deradicalization programs and summarizes the policies that could help to promote and accelerate the processes of deradicalization....
November 26, 2009 Asia-Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
The 63rd United Nations (UN) General Assembly is poised to debate Secretary-General Ban
Ki-moon’s report on the operationalisation of the Responsibility to Protect (referred to as ‘R2P’
for the remainder of this report). It is expected that his report will be released and debated in
early 2009. Therefore, this is a good time to examine the position that Member States have
adopted on the R2P since its endorsement at the 2005 World Summit and policy issues
relating to its implementation through the UN. This report will focus on the Member States of
the Association for South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) with the exception of Myanmar, which
is currently on the UN Security Council’s agenda. It concentrates on their position on the
R2P and their policy priorities in areas related to implementing the principle through the UN.
The report identifies steps that might encourage the region’s governments to become more
positively engaged with the R2P principle....
November 26, 2009 Asia-Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
In July 2009, the UN General Assembly held an Interactive Informal Dialogue and plenary session on the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP). The dialogue provided the first opportunity for the UN membership as a whole to discuss implementation of the 2005 World Summit’s commitment to the RtoP and the UN Secretary-General’s report on the matter. Fifteen governments from the Asia-Pacific region, namely Indonesia, the Philippines, Korea, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Japan, China, Vietnam, Solomon Islands, Myanmar, Timor-Leste, DPRK, PNG and Malaysia, participated in the dialogue. This culminated in a resolution co-sponsored by, inter alia, Australia, Fiji, Singapore, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Korea, Timor-Leste and New Zealand that noted the Secretary-General’s report, observed the fruitfulness of the interactive dialogue, and committed the Assembly to further consideration of the RtoP.
According to the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, one of the most significant aspects of the dialogue was the positive transformation of attitudes towards the RtoP within the Asia-Pacific region. Having previously been considered the region most opposed to the RtoP, the region now boasts near unanimity in its endorsement of the principle and the Secretary-General’s efforts towards its implementation (with the exception of North Korea)....