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The fight against IGIL has acquired a global character

The leading researcher of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Doctor of Political Sciences Natalia Rogozhina, tells about the fight against IGIL in the countries of Southeast Asia

The fight against ISIS has acquired a global character, and not only because the world community is concerned about the growing political and military tensions in the Middle East, but primarily because of the threat to the activities of this terrorist organization in ensuring the national security of states located on different continents. These considerations are guided by the countries of Southeast Asia, which on October 2, 2015, within the framework of ASEAN, held a special meeting on the growth of radicalism and violent extremism at the ministerial level.

The fight against IGIL has acquired a global character

Natalia Rogozhina

Leading researcher of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Doctor of Political Sciences
Although this problem is not new to the region (clashes on religious grounds between Muslims and Christians, Buddhists and Muslims occur with different frequencies in different countries of Southeast Asia, not to mention the terrorist activities of radical Islamists in Indonesia and the Philippines and separatists in southern Thailand), namely With the emergence of ISIS, the question of the need to prevent the growth of extremism and Islamic radicalism arose within the framework of coordinating international efforts.

The threat posed by ISIS to ASEAN countries is not measured by the number of their citizens howling on its side. There are not so many of them: approximately 400 800 people out of 30 thousand foreigners who joined the ranks of the organization. The main danger lies elsewhere - in the spread of the influence of ISIS in the region, where 15% of the world's Muslims live, with the accompanying strengthening of the positions of radical Islamism. There are grounds for this - the existence of an organizational base of jihadist terrorists who are ready to swear allegiance to the Caliphate (this was done by about 30 terrorist groups), and receptive to this idea of ​​creating their own social base, numbering several thousand people so far (about three thousand Indonesians have expressed their loyalty to ISIS fighters through social networks), but capable of increasing in numbers in the event of the activation of ISIS supporters after their return to their homeland.

The main danger lies elsewhere - in the spread of the influence of ISIS in the region, where 15% of the world's Muslims live, with the accompanying strengthening of the positions of radical Islamism.

They received military training and acquired international ties. This will allow ISIS to strengthen the extremist underground and carry out further terrorist acts aimed at overthrowing existing regimes and creating a caliphate called Daulah Islamiyah Nusantara in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, southern Thailand and the Philippines, where enclaves of activity already exist. his adherents.

It is the further actions of the ISIS militants to return them to their homeland that become the subject of special concern of the ASEAN countries, especially since there is already irrefutable information about the terrorist attacks they are preparing in the countries of the region. Today they have been averted, but it is not possible to calculate all the possible scenarios for the development of the situation for the next five to ten years, if we remember what accompanied the return of the jihadists who fought in Afghanistan. The explosion on the island of Bali is just one of the consequences of the involvement of local Islamists in world terrorism. ISIS supporters are even more radical than their predecessors.

ISIS acts purposefully in the countries of the region as part of strengthening its influence, actively recruiting future militants by various methods, whether it be preaching in mosques, processing students in madrassas and religious boarding schools funded by radical Islamist organizations, distributing jihadist religious literature, local radical groups, attraction through social networks. Today, 10 extremist websites have been recorded in Southeast Asian countries.

The fight against radical Islamists in Southeast Asia is being conducted today in different directions. Along with the implementation of counterterrorist actions (in 2015 alone, 92 people were detained in Malaysia on suspicion of having links with ISIS), the visa regime and control in prisons are tightening, from where today convicted terrorists can transmit video messages quite freely, as well as over mosques where religious treatment of future militants. The mass media are actively used to counter-propagate the teachings of radical jihadists. Explanatory work is underway with the population about the hostility of ISIS teachings to the traditional values ​​of Islam. And in this regard, states are working in close cooperation with leading Muslim organizations that condemn the activities of ISIS. The authorities are counting on their help and assistance in the first place, trying to deprive the supporters of this terrorist organization of social support in the local society.

The participants in the ASEAN ministerial meeting declared that preventive measures will be given special importance in the framework of counter-terrorism actions. This will be based on the reeducation programs for militants successfully tested in Malaysia, which, by the collective decision of Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand, should lead the planning and implementation of counter-terrorism actions in the region. In support of the set goals, it is planned to hold a conference on the problem of deradicalization in the ASEAN +2016 countries format in Malaysia in January 8.

Nevertheless, it is too early to make predictions about the effectiveness of the current policy of deradicalization of the Southeast Asian countries. They lack the experience, trained personnel, and the appropriate legal framework to counter the threat of the spread of ISIS influence, which continues to pose a major threat to the growth of Islamic extremism in the region. That is why the question arose of expanding cooperation between countries in the framework of coordination of their actions and exchange of experience, views and ideas to suppress terrorism and the growth of violence in the region.

First publication of the material on the RIAC website
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