Wednesday, July 22, 2009

CTC Report: Radical Islamic Ideology in Southeast Asia

From CTC [Combating Terrorism Center at the US Military Academy]

The CTC is pleased to announce the release of its latest report, Radical Islamic Ideology in Southeast Asia.

The 17 July 2008 terrorist attacks on two hotels in Jakarta, Indonesia served as a vivid reminder of the breadth of the battle space and the importance of constant vigilance. This break in Indonesia’s four-year calm might be a one-time event or an indication of a resurgent regional terror threat. With crude weapons and little logistical support, a small group of people were capable of carrying out an attack that received global media attention. The focus on the perpetrators of this attack may also veil the importance of ideologies other than global jihadism to political violence in the region, such as various strands of ethno-nationalism. As this report highlights, global jihadism is not the only ideology animating terrorist violence, and ethno-nationalism is still a prevalent force in Southeast Asia.

This volume continues the CTC tradition of trying to understand actors posing a real or potential threat to the United States and follows projects such as The Militant Ideology Atlas and Cracks in the Foundation. Edited by Dr. Scott Helfstein, this volume is an attempt to gain greater granularity on the nature of jihadism in Southeast Asia. The volume uses a country-based approach, focusing on jihadi ideology in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand. The final chapter looks at jihadi content on the internet. We hope this report serves both the academic and practitioner communities to better understand the landscape of terrorism in Southeast Asia.

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