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ISLAMIC STATE EYEING SOUTH EAST ASIA?

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SINGAPORE: The Islamic State (IS) militant group is strengthening its external operations wing and courting support in South-East Asia, a security expert said at a counter-terrorism meeting here on Wednesday.
Twenty-two terrorist groups in the region have already pledged allegiance to IS, said terrorism expert Professor Rohan Gunaratna(photo) at the Global Security Asia conference.


Rohan, who heads Singapore’s International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, said IS is also using the social media to disseminate propaganda in local languages
Regional volunteers who fought alongside IS militants in Syria and Iraq could also link up with terror groups such as Mujahidin Indonesia Timur and Jemaah Islamiah offshoot Jemaah Ansharut Tauhid (JAT) when they return, said Rohan.
  • IS has suffered recent setbacks in Syria and Iraq as the multinational coalition stepped up its efforts and recaptured IS-held territory. 
  • Analysts say the violent militant group is losing momentum as war on multiple fronts has taken a toll on its resources and capabilities.
“As IS loses territory, it will become more insurgent, hit-and-run and terrorist in nature, and will spread its influence overseas,” Rohan told The Straits Times separately.
The IS setback could see it exporting “militancy” to the region as returning fighters will bring with them battle experience and connections to launch attacks.
It is estimated that more than 300 volunteers from the region are fighting alongside IS in Iraq and Syria.

Source:FMT
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