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


HK bans political group, citing its separatist views

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government said on Monday it has banned a separatist group that advocates independence. Secretary for Security John Lee Ka-chiu, who made the decision, said the ban on the “Hong Kong National Party” was in accordance with the Societies Ordinance. The ban on the HKNP, effective immediately, was made in the interests of national security, public safety, public order and the protection of the rights and freedoms of others, Lee said. What the HKNP aims to do contravenes the Basic Law and undermines national security, the security chief said. The secretary for security is vested with the power to issue an order to prohibit the operation or continued operation of a society if it violates stipulations in the Societies Ordinance. To achieve its goal of splitting Hong Kong from the country, the HKNP has repeatedly called for the “use of

By Cod Satrusayang
September 26, 2018


Climate Change: Four years is all we have

Grim reports on climate change say act now or be ready for catastrophe. Humanity has only about four years left to stabilise global temperatures and save the world from environmental catastrophe stemming from extreme climate change, scientists have warned. After negotiations at this month’s Bangkok Climate Change Conference ended in failure, the world’s leading scientific agencies, the United Nations and environmentalists are urging governments to show greater determination. They want to see more ambitious action to rapidly de-carbonise the global economy and stabilise the temperature at the safest possible level of 1.5 degrees Celsius. They also identified Southeast Asia as a strategic area in the mission to reverse climate change, calling the region not only a major front in the battle against the spreading use of fossil fuels but also one of the locales most vulnerable to the detrimental impacts.An anal

By The Nation (Thailand)
September 17, 2018


Trade spat perils put spotlight on need for effective strategies

Chinese experts discuss global trade tensions and policy options to ensure smooth growth of economy. Short-term challenges from the escalating trade spat with the United States have reassured Chinese officials and experts of the need to support market-oriented reform and opening-up, with a particular focus on reducing debt and limiting government intervention. That was the consensus reached by participants at a high-level forum on Sunday, during which policymakers and advisers from home and abroad gathered in Beijing. They discussed global trade tensions and policy options that would ensure smooth growth of the Chinese economy. Reforms should strengthen the market’s decisive role in resource allocation, optimize State-owned enterprises and reduce or eliminate direct subsidies for some industries, said Yang Wei­min, former deputy director of the Office of the Central Leading Group on Financ

By China Daily
September 17, 2018


Typhoon Mangkhut leaves behind trail of death and destruction

After killing 64 in the Philippines and pummelling Hong Kong and Macau, the mightiest storm of the year is wreaking havoc in China. Massive landslides killed 64 people while 45 others were missing in this city and in the provinces of Benguet, Mountain Province, Kalinga and Nueva Vizcaya, as Typhoon “Ompong” (international name: Mangkhut) unleashed its fury on Friday night and early Saturday, the Philippine National Police said on Sunday. The PNP said 33 people were injured in the massive storm. The hardest hit province was Benguet, where most of those who died perished in landslides, the PNP said. Power and communication lines were toppled, but some were restored late Sunday in parts of the mountain city and in provinces that were in the path of Ompong as it exited the country on Saturday night. As of 3 p.m. on Sunday, the typhoon was spotted 935 kilometers west-northwest of northern L

By Philippine Daily Inquirer
September 17, 2018


I am not impatient to become Prime Minister, says Anwar Ibrahim

Parti Keadilan Rakyat president says relationship with Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohammad amicable. Anwar Ibrahim said he has no ulterior motive nor is impatient to be Malaysia’s next Prime Minister. in contesting the Port Dickson seat, but instead wants to help reform Parliament. The Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president said: “My relationship with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad is amicable and I don’t harbour any adverse notion when I decided to contest in a by-election.” Mr Anwar said he had already expressed his intention to contest two weeks ago. “My aim is to make an inroad into Parliament and help my junior peers in drafting policies and legal frameworks for the benefit of the people,” he said when addressing his party members at the Melaka International Trade Centre at Ayer Keroh on Thursday (Sept 13) night. Mr Anwar said he does not m

By The Straits Times
September 14, 2018


Beijing, Moscow vow to reinforce military relations

The two nations will continue their military cooperation and explore new possible ways to boost their combat abilities. China and Russia vowed to further deepen military ties and improve their troops’ combat abilities to respond to various security threats, as they formally concluded the “Vostok-2018” strategic drills with a military parade on Thursday. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese State Councilor and Minister of National Defense Wei Fenghe inspected the troops at the Tsugol training range in Russia’s Trans-Baikal region, where the exercise was held. Wei said the drills reflect China and Russia’s confidence and determination to jointly safeguard regional peace and security, and the exercise enhances the two militaries’ ability to respond to multiple security threats. The two sides should further strengthen their strategic cooperation and continu

By China Daily
September 14, 2018