See More on Facebook


Southeast Asia continues fight against terrorism

Thai Deputy Prime Minister Prawit admitted on Wednesday (April 19) that terrorist group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria could attempt to set up a branch in Thailand, The Nation reported.

Written by

Updated: April 20, 2018

His comments come after a statement released by police chief Mohamad Fuzi Harun that four ISIS militants – one of which is Thai- were being pursued for suspected plans to attack non-Muslim places of worship and kidnap and murder police officers. Two have been caught, but the other two are still on the run, The Nation reported.

Intelligence sources believe that the Thai suspect, Awae Wae-Eya, is the group’s mastermind, and is attempting to set up an ISIS cell in Thailand, The Straits Times reported.

Southeast Asia has faced a significant threat from Islamist militants in recent years. In light of recent events, here is a closer look at how the war on terror is progressing across the region.


Aside from the four militants, police have arrested six other members of the ISIS cell between Feb 27 and March 1, Malaysia’s police chief Mohamad Fuzi Harun said in a statement, according to The Straits Times.

The arrests included two janitors from Singapore, a 37-year-old technician, two security guards aged 49 and 30 and a 25-year-old waiter.

The raids also led to the arrest of a member of Philippines-based terrorist group Abu Sayyaf, believed to be a trusted lieutenant of group’s leader, on March 15, The Straits Times reported.

The 31-year-old man is thought to have connections to Malaysian militant Mahmud Ahmad, and is wanted in the Philippines for involvement in a kidnap-for-ransom syndicate.

Malaysia has arrested nearly 400 people since 2013 for suspected links to terrorism, according to The Straits Times.


The Philippines endured a particularly tough year in its fight against terror in 2017 when militants managed to capture significant portions of the southern city of Marawi.

The resulting five-month clash caused the deaths of almost 1,100 people and was the country’s biggest battle since World War II, Reuters reported.

Though Philippine forces declared a victory over the pro-ISIS Maute rebel group in October, militants have continued to make their presence felt this year, with a violent clash on January 20 that wounded six soldiers, according to Reuters.

The southern island of Mindanao, which President Duterte has labelled a “flashpoint for trouble” will remain under martial law for the rest of the year, Reuters reported.


Four people were wounded in February when a sword-wielding man attacked a church in Yogyakarta during a Sunday service, The Straits Times reported.

The attack lasted 15 minutes before the assailant, identified as Suliono, a university student from Bayuwangi in East Java, was shot and subdued.

It later emerged that the 23-year-old Indonesian was a radical Islamist whose plan to fight alongside ISIS in Syria was thwarted when his passport application was rejected, AFP reported.

Enjoyed this story? Share it.

Nadia Chevroulet
About the Author: Nadia is an Associate Editor at Asia News Network.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia

Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.

By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here


Pakistan refutes BBC story on rights abuses

BBC story on ‘Pakistan’s secret human rights abuses’ a pack of lies: ISPR. The military’s media wing on Monday issued a strongly worded response to a BBC story that documented alleged human rights abuses in the tribal areas of former Fata, and termed the report a “pack of lies”. The BBC story published on June 2, titled Uncovering Pakistan’s secret human rights abuses, looks into Pakistan’s long battle with militants as part of the post-9/11 “war on terror” and carries the accounts of locals as well as the top leader of the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM), Manzoor Pashteen. According to the rep

By Dawn
June 4, 2019


Modi’s party unveils manifesto with something for everyone

BJP’s key pledges include housing for all by 2022 and the doubling of farmers’ incomes. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) yesterday unveiled a manifesto it said was inspired by the spirit of nationalism, in a bid to woo different segments of society just days before voters go to the polls. Populist pledges included doubling the income of farmers by 2022, social security in the form of pensions for small farmers and traders, and tax cuts for the middle class. The BJP also pledged full commitment to national security and a zero tolerance policy on terrorism. On Thursday, India kicks off a

By The Straits Times
April 11, 2019


Cloud Seeding: Why make it rain?

The South Korean government carried out its first artificial rain experiment of the year in late January. The trial was conducted by the Korea Meteorological Administration and the Ministry of Environment over the Yellow Sea. The results of this attempt were underwhelming, producing little more than a weak mist. Although the experiment has been reported as a “failure” the purpose of these operations isn’t necessarily to produce rain every time, but rather to acquire data, fine-tune the process and find out if artificial rain can even be reliably stimulated. The KMA carried out 12 experiments in 2018 and has 14 more trials planned for 2019. The data gathered by these trials will be used alongside information obtained from the 54 South Korean artificial rain experiments that h

By Quinn Libson
March 1, 2019


Southeast Asia rejects the world’s plastic waste

China’s ban on imports of plastic waste, the “National Sword Campaign” which went into effect in January of 2018, upended the global recycling industry. China has received as much as 106 million metric tons of plastics for processing since the United Nations first began gathering data on the phenomenon in 1992. That’s as much as 45-55 percent of the world’s plastic that made its way through China’s recycling pipeline. With that pipeline closed off, developed countries around the globe

By Quinn Libson
February 25, 2019


Southeast Asian elections will be defined by young voters

More than half of the population of Southeast Asia is under the age of 30. Therefore, it stands to reason that this segment of the population will have an outsized influence in coming political contests. Candidates across the region have their eyes turned toward capturing young votes, and that mission is having an affect on their platforms, and the way they campaign. Indonesia In Indonesia, Millennials make up nearly half of the electorate, and as such, candidates are working hard to woo young people. But, according to research it’s a tricky voter segment to pin down—and one that has traditionally been less politically engaged.

By Quinn Libson
February 18, 2019


Basic Income in India has been tried before

Is Rahul Gandhi’s basic income a ploy, history holds on a lesson. Speaking to a rally of farmers in Chhattisgarh on Monday, opposition candidate Rahul Gandhi announced that if his party is voted into power in the country’s upcoming national elections then it will introduce a Universal Basic Income of sorts. The “minimum income guarantee” would go out to every “poor person” in India—meaning those that fall within a minimum threshold level of income—and could potentially replace other government welfare systems: subsidies on food, fuel, etc. By the international standard set out by the World Bank, nearly 22 percent of the Indian population falls below the poverty line.

By Quinn Libson
January 31, 2019