As recent as August 15, 2008, Indian PM Manmohan Singh said that terrorism and extremism had emerged as the main challenge to India's unity.

In fact, since October 2005, more than 400 people have died in bomb attacks Indian cities. Another example was the Aug. 25, 2007 attack in Hyderabad when an explosion ripped through a crowd watching a laser show at an outdoor amphitheater.

For the most part hoever, India-based Islamist militants traditionally have staged their attacks in India (mostly inside Jammu and Kashmir) and have not ascribed to the wider transnational jihadist agenda.

An example of this was when, a member of Hizbul Mujahideen founded by the head of the Jamaat ut-Dawa in Kashmir threw a grenade into a mosque compound in Kashmir targeting a preacher of the Barelvi strand of  Islam killing 5. Showing the complexity of such religious motivated political fights in S.Asia, within days a close associate the leader of the Hizbul Mujahideen was killed in Lahore. The Jamaat ud-Dawa thereupon released a statement, claiming that Mujahid was killed by three "terrorists". And although it is not certain Pakistan ’s ISI would have been involved, a Kashmir activist in India, soon thereafter admitted to the bombing.

The refusal of certain Islamist groups in Pakistan and Kashmir, on the one hand, and militant Hindu groups in India, on the other, to consider a negotiated settlement of the dispute, based on the aspirations of the Kashmiris themselves, is the greatest hurdle in the path of establishing peace in the region. Case Study Kashmir P.1.

Given the foregoing, it might be constructive to augment dialogue between the Indian government and representatives of Jammu, the Valley, and Ladakh; between Indian and Pakistani parts of Kashmir across the LOC; between representatives of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and the Northern Areas; and between the Pakistani government and representatives of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and the Northern Areas. Case Study Kashmir P.2.

One reason for this narrow focus is that many of the militant Islamist groups operating in India are sponsored by Pakistan, which has used these groups as tools to pressure and destabilize India and does not want to see its proxies take on a wider-ranging philosophy.

Over the past few years, however, we have observed a growing nexus between transnational jihadists, al Qaeda and its affiliates, and militant Islamist groups operating out of Pakistani-controlled Kashmir. On the propaganda front, videos containing footage from al Qaeda and Taliban training camps and interspersed with recordings of Osama bin Laden calling for Muslims to join the jihad have appeared in the Patna and Bhojpur districts of Bihar in northeastern India. Additionally, on June 8, a DVD was sent to media organizations in Srinagar, the summer capital of India's Jammu and Kashmir state, that contained a declaration of war against India. The statement was presented by a man wearing a black mask who claimed to be a top al Qaeda cadre named Abu Abdul Rehman Ansari. A man using that same name called a Kashmiri news agency in July 2006, claiming al Qaeda had established a new group in Jammu and Kashmir and congratulating the perpetrators of the July 2006 Mumbai train bombings -- bombings that just happened to bear the trademarks of jihadist attacks against public rail systems elsewhere.

In November 2006, airports in India were placed on high alert following separate threats that al Qaeda was planning car bombings at Indian airports and hijackings of U.S.-bound aircraft departing from Indian airports. Kashmiri militant groups appear to be among those who have seen the value of adopting the al Qaeda brand name.

Historically, al Qaeda's core leadership has paid only limited attention to India, though bin Laden did call for Kashmiri Muslims to rise up and fight the "grand Zionist-Hindu conspiracy against Islam" in an April 2006 communiqué. Because al Qaeda lacks both its own structure in India and a strong support network there, it has chosen to rely on Kashmiri groups such as the of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) which in spite of its splintered nature,  is still considered one of the most active Islamist militant organizations in South Asia.

For example Lashkar-e-Taiba planted explosions on an India-to-Pakistan passenger train Feb. 2004. Formed in 1990 in the Kunar province of Afghanistan, it is based near Lahore in Pakistan. The Lashkar has been able to carve for itself a presence as a major actor in the Kashmir conflict less because of the appeal of its ideology than owing to its engagement with Indian armed forces in the region. Case Study P.1: Lashkar-e-Taiba.

The Lashkar, for its part, insists that it will not stop with its jihad in Kashmir, but, rather, regards it as but the beginning of a greater struggle to establish an Islamic state in all of South Asia, including both India as well as Pakistan.

Blamed for a series of attacks that have killed more than 250 people since 2002, another group originating in Pakistan yet with an influence all over Asia is the  Jamaat-e-Islami.

The jailbreak of Jamaat-i-Islami’s Mas Selamat bin Kastari, the 2e member who escaped from jail in Singapore during February,  revived fears the Islamic militants might create unrest in that region again. Case Study: History of Lashkar-e-Taiba.

The end of British colonial rule brought the partition of the subcontinent, ostensibly along religious lines, and the transfer of power to two nation-states-one avowedly secular, the other created as a Muslim homeland. Contrary to the perception that modernity had eclipsed the role of religious scholars, managers of modern states like Pakistan initially gave the ulema greater prominence, by letting them pose as guardians of public morality, if not Islamic ethics, so long as they did not undermine state authority. The renewed interest in jihad by Mawdudi and, through him, by such West Asian radicals as Sayyid Qutb-the two authors most frequently cited by experts on Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism-had like we explained before --initially also had to do with the internal dynamics of Muslim society at the time of Abul Ala Mawdudi.

This situation would radicalize itself more during, and following--the “Jihad” in Afghanistan.

Beyond the rhetoric, a number of recent attacks also have revealed how these Kashmiri groups have become increasingly influenced by al Qaeda tactics. They not only have begun to focus on conducting operations in India beyond Jammu and Kashmir but also have conducted more spectacular attacks, such as the July 2006 railway bombings in Mumbai and the February explosions and fires that killed almost 70 people aboard an India-to-Pakistan passenger train. Al Qaeda-influenced Kashmiri militants also have made a move toward Muslim-on-Muslim attacks against religious targets. These are aimed at inflaming communal tensions and creating the conditions necessary for militant cells to take root throughout the country.

As we have noted previously, this shift by Kashmiri militant groups toward transnational jihadism can be attributed to the gradual breakdown of Pakistani handlers' control over their militant proxies. This trend should grow stronger as the remnants of LeT continue to splinter (thus making them harder to control), and as Pakistan further destabilizes - undercutting the influence of the Inter-Services Intelligence agency. Even if the Pakistan People's Party were to return to power in Pakistan, there are few who think a Bhutto government could contain Islamist extremism, and such a turn of events would serve to further erode Pakistani control of its militant proxies.

Also the IT sector in India faces a serious threat, since the militant groups likely will focus more on a strategic target set that could have a real impact on India's economic lifeline. And as previous threats revealed, IT companies "off the beaten path" in India are also vulnerable, since the perceived threat is lower in these areas and security forces are not as well-equipped or vigilant as they are in Bangalore and Hyderabad.

Where almost half of the whole Muslim world population lives in South Asia, Muslim terrorism there has also become increasingly linked to worldwide terrorism. Case Study:

The indoctrination of potential terrorist recruits-has also been greatly facilitated by the operation of the madrassas (madrassahs), in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Indonesia. Often funded by money from Saudi Arabia or other oil­ rich Persian Gulf states, here boys (in most places girls are not allowed to study)- as young as six years of age are offered a free education. There is little, if any, education in subjects such as history, geography, math, or ‘science’ (for example they often teach that the earth is flat), and the teachers in these madrassas are often themselves poorly educat­ed. But because free public schools do not exist in some South and East Asian countries, and because the madrassas provide room and board, many poor parents feel that these Islamic schools offer the only chance for their sons to receive an education at all.

In Asia, terrorism kills and will continue to do so. It will not come to an end in the foreseeable future. The number of victims of insurgencies, the latter extensively using terrorism, far exceeds the area’s international wars’ deaths’ figures. Wide areas of India, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and even Bhutan now, are prone to terrorist acts.

In the future, new devastating forms of attacks may appear and will cause huge human and environmental damages to the local populations and states. Therefore, studying contemporary terrorism without referring to  Asia would be incomplete.

Not unlike Buddhism, Muslims are divided into two major branches-the Sunni and the Shia, or Shiites. The Sunni is by far the larger with 80 percent of Muslims worldwide. Shiites, who added twelve ‘Imams’, make up about 15 percent of Muslims constituting a majority in Iran, Iraq, and Bahrain.

Typical for most sects in their transformation to a religion, on Muhammad's death in 632, the question arose as to who should assume the role of  successor. The Sunnis believed that the caliph should be elected by tribal chiefs, the Shiites (the party of Ali), succession should follow the bloodline. Ali was the Prophet's cousin and son-in-law, having married Muhammad's daughter Fatima. (Muhammad himself had no sons who survived to adulthood.)

The Sunni majority itself is divided into four  schools of fiqh, or Islamic jurisprudence: Hanafi, Shafii, Maliki, and Hanbali. Developed during the eighth and ninth centuries, they provided legal opinions based on the Qur'an.
Each of these are recognized as equally legitimate by nearly all Sunni Muslims, with the notable exception of the Wahhabis, who form the Hanbali school and are more "orthodox".

AI-Wahab sought to return Islam to its earliest form by cleansing the religion of what he regarded as un-Islamic practices like for example, the Shiites' veneration of the twelve ‘Imams’ or/and the believe in a ‘Mahdi’ a future or present, conqueror that will spread Islam (Ayatollah Khomeini was Shiite, thus he couls issue his own fatwa’s like that against Salmon Rushdie). Wahhabis on the other hand believe that only a literal reading of the Qur'an can pro­vide the basis for Sharia, or Islamic law, with both groups believing  in ‘Jihad’ however.

Thus early 1979, capitalizing n popular discontent with the U.S.-backed shah, the Shia cleric Ayatollah uhollah Khomeini led a successful revolution and set up a conservative Islamic theocracy in Iran. And soon after, Iran began trying to export its conservative Islamic revolution to other parts of the Muslim world. And with the latest election results in Iraq (December 17, 2005) a similar Islamic theocracy seems set to be implemented also in Iraq, with the U.S. leaning Kurds, having already established their own semi-separate state.

Though its international reach may not match that of Iran or al-Qaeda, Jemaah Islamiyah (known from the two Bali bombings) is one of the most important international Islamist terrorist organizations. Founded in Malaysia by two Indonesian Salafists of Yemeni origin, JI is a Southeast Asian organization with branches in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Singapore. There are also marginal JI groups in Myanmar, Cambodia, and Australia.

Originating before al-Qaeda, JI has established  ties  with bin Laden's organization and often serves as al-Qaeda's arm in Southeast Asia. In fact many  JI members were trained in al-Qaeda camps and fought in Afghanistan.

I's interpretation of Islam has similarity’s with the communities of Aceh, the northernmost province of Sumatra. Otherwise the Islamic beliefs of many  Indonesian Muslims are basically syncretic (incorporating local customs), and a literal interpretation of the Qur'an is  restricted to a minority of believers.

Thus JI's goal is to create a caliphate, ruled by Islamic law, in the entire region spanning from Myanmar in the west to the Philippines in the east. The group's members hope this Islamic state will in time become part of the larger caliphate that al-Qaeda and others envision, as governing the worldwide Muslim community.

Occasionally, Islamist terrorist organizations receive help from governments (many, though not all, of these groups operate legally and in the open, through an affiliated non-governmental organization or political party). Sometimes, for political or strategic reasons, Muslim governments support Islamists in neighboring states. For exam­ple, Kashmiri separatists have long received assistance and encouragement from a succession of Pakistani governments, both democratic and military, as did the Taliban in Afghanistan before its fall in late 2001. In other cases, the financial help comes from more distant sources-such as the governments and citizens of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states (United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain), or even Shiite Iran. Some Islamist groups fund their terrorist attacks through a variety of criminal activities, including kidnapping for ransom (successfully applied in Iraq the past few years), drug smuggling, theft, bank robbery, and credit card fraud-methods also used by European radical Muslims to finance their own terrorist operations. See details in the attached article that presents an in-depth research about where the money comes from, so at this point then let me proceed with a rundown of the various countries I have been referring to in the introduction so far.

Bangladesh

The militant Islamist groups of Bangladesh are a potentially important political force for several reasons. First, they have ties to the powerful mil­itary-which over the course of Bangladesh's brief history has repeatedly intervened in the running of the government. In addition, Bangladesh suf­fers from extreme poverty, widespread official corruption, and weak rule of law. Under these circumstances, militant Islamic groups may hold considerable attraction. Some analysts fear that Bangladesh, with the fourth largest Muslim population in the world, is being drawn into the whirlpool of Islamist radicalism.

The local Islamist group, Jamaat-e-Islami, has joined the political process. In 2001 the group gained 17 of the 300 seats in Bangladesh's Parliament and became part of the ruling coalition of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party. Jamaat-e-Islami's leader, Motiur Rahman Nizami, and his colleague Ali Ahsan are members of the cabinet. The party's youth wing, Islami Chhatra Shibir, is part of an international structure of Islamist youth groups, which includes the International Islamic Federation of Student Organizations and the World Assembly of Muslim Youth. The youth group leaders, trained in Deobandi madrassas, are influential at Chittagong University, located in the major Bangladesh city of the same name. Youth members have been involved in the assassinations of secular party activists, such as Gopal Krishna Muhuri, a leading secular humanist and principal of Chittagong's Nazirhat College.

Supporters of Jamaat-e-Islami shout anti-Israel and anti-U.S. slogans during a demonstration in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

But Jamaat-e-Islami is not the only radical Islamist group in Bangladesh. Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (the Party of Islamic Jihad), led by Shawkat Osman (also known by his alias, Sheikh Farid), has strong and well-known ties to Osama bin Laden. The organization, formed in 1992, was one of the groups that forced author Taslima Nasrin, a critic of Islam's treatment of women, into exile by putting a price on her head in 1993. Fazlul Rahman, leader of the Jihad Movement in Bangladesh, was one of  the original signatories of Osama bin Laden’s jihad declaration.

When that time President General Bhutto suggested that Pakistan recognize Bangladesh as an independent country (December 1971), the Jamaat-e-Islami led a campaign against the recognition "Bangladesh na-manzoor" (Bangladesh is unacceptable). But where earlier President Kennedy displayed a readiness, to extend America's nuclear umbrella to India in 1963 (because of China), this was not the case of America during the East Pakistan conflict.

For our in depth study about Bangladesh continue here first P.1.

P.2 Bangladesh and Beyond

Cambodia

Often referred to as "Khmer Islam", the Cham have practiced a form of Islam noted for its syncretic elements. The Cham clergy, like their Buddhist counterparts, shave their heads and faces. They also dress completely in white and believe in the power of magic and sorcery. After their near destruction during the Khmer Rouge period, many impoverished Cham communities have come under the influence of Saudi-financed Wahhabi preachers. While the Cham and the radical Islamists in their midst still constitute a very small minority, the flow of money in support of a radical Islamist ideology is a trend that bears watching.

Pakistan

Founded specifically for the Indian subcontinent's Muslims, Pakistan remains an overwhelmingly Muslim country (according to a recent estimate, percent of Pakistanis follow Islam). But the Muslim population is divid­between a Sunni majority and a substantial Shiite minority. More import, however, considerable tensions exist between those who favor a more ular society and government and Islamic fundamentalists who want cistan to follow the Sharia. Pakistan has been a major source of Islamist "orism.

Pakistan ("Land of the Pure" in Urdu, the country's main language) t a substantial amount of territory in the 1971 war that led to the cre­m of Bangladesh, but it nonetheless retains certain advantages over st other Muslim states. Under British rule, it developed a large and npetent educated class. And Pakistani scientists were able to set up a :cessful nuclear-weapons program; the country detonated its first test nb in 1998, becoming the only Muslim-majority country in the nuclear lb."

Pakistan's Deobandi school of thought is one of the three major well­ings of Islamist terrorism today. (The other two are Egypt's Muslim .therhood and the Saudi Wahhabis.) Islamist terrorism in Pakistan has landed in two directions. First, terrorists have targeted the Pakistani 'ernment, which they regard as insufficiently Islamic. At least four ~mpts have been made on the life of President Pervez Musharraf, a gen­I who came to power as the result of a 1999 military coup. Musharraf ticularly angered Islamist militants by cooperating with the United tes in its "war on terrorism." Suicide bombers have also unsuccessful­targeted Pakistani prime ministers. A 2004 attempt on the life of mkat Aziz, an influential finance minister whom Musharraf promoted the post of prime minister, left at least nine people dead. Second, cistani-based Islamic terrorism has targeted India, especially over the Kashmir issue. Islamic fundamentalists want to separate Muslim-majority Kashmir from India (and, as noted previously, the Pakistani government ; sponsored their efforts). percent of Pakistanis follow Islam). But the Muslim population is divid­between a Sunni majority and a substantial Shiite minority. More import, however, considerable tensions exist between those who favor a more ular society and government and Islamic fundamentalists who want cistan to follow the Sharia. Pakistan has been a major source of Islamist "orism.

Pakistan ("Land of the Pure" in Urdu, the country's main language) t a substantial amount of territory in the 1971 war that led to the crem of Bangladesh, but it nonetheless retains certain advantages over st other Muslim states. Under British rule, it developed a large and npetent educated class. And Pakistani scientists were able to set up a :cessful nuclear-weapons program; the country detonated its first test nb in 1998, becoming the only Muslim-majority country in the nuclear lb."

Pakistan's Deobandi school of thought is one of the three major wellings of Islamist terrorism today. (The other two are Egypt's Muslim .therhood and the Saudi Wahhabis.) Islamist terrorism in Pakistan has landed in two directions. First, terrorists have targeted the Pakistani 'ernment, which they regard as insufficiently Islamic. Pervez Musharraf, who came to power as the result of a 1999 military coup, recently angered Islamist militants by cooperating with the United States in its "war on terrorism." Islamic fundamentalists want to separate Muslim-majority Kashmir from India and, the Pakistani government  sponsored their efforts.

Just when India and Pakistan agreed on an opening of the border of Kashmir to finally, allow help for victims of the 8 October earthquake, Inquilab a previously unknown group targeted two crowded marketplaces and a bus in New Delhi killing more than 70 people. Inquilab, claimed responsibility on Sunday for the explosions saying it was against the acts of security forces in Jammu and Kashmir. In a video apparently taped on Oct. 9,  but released Oct. 23, al-Zawahiri now pleads for the Muslim world to speed aid to those affected by the recent earthquake in the Kashmir region. Thus it appears that al Qaeda's access to communication facilities remains uninterrupted. However al-Zawahiri - who now has appeared in six videotapes since the beginning of 2005 - made no mention of Osama bin Laden or his welfare. Two weeks later millions of survivors are facing the threat of a second catastrophe because Pakistan led aid is not reaching many victims trapped in cold mountain areas. Group says Pakistan armee hoards quake aid. In the meantime an MI6/SAS team has joined US Special Forces in earthquake-devastated Balakot to search for Osama Bin Laden....

Asked at the United Nations 2005 World Summit why Pakistan was one of the nations that objected to nonproliferation: "Pakistan is against nonproliferation because it is always accompanied by disarmament." On February 4, 2004, Pakistan's military ruler, General Pervez Musharraf, told Pakistan's newspaper editors in Islamabad, "Pakistan has two vital national interests: Being a nuclear state and the Kashmir cause."

For our in-depth study about Pakistan continue to:

Indonesia

More than 200 million Indonesians follow Islam, giving Indonesia the largest Muslim population in the world. It is also the main focus of Islamist terrorism in Southeast Asia and one of the most important centers for terrorism on the planet. Geography constitutes a major advantage for the terrorists: the country consists of more than 13,000 islands, and it is all but impossible for the government to control the entirety of its far-flung territory.

Like elsewhere, Islam was introduced to Indonesia both  through military conquest, plus as happened in most other Muslim-majority countries,  through mission­ary activities that followed traditional trade routes across the Indian Ocean. Largely for this reason, many aspects of other religions were included in Indonesian Islamic practice. Some islands, especially Bali and Irian Jaya, did not even convert to Islam, and some, like the Maluku and Sulawesi islands, were Christianized by Dutch colonizers. Still others, especially Sumatra (the Indonesian island closest to the Middle East), adopted a much stricter form of Islam.
Islamist terrorism in Indonesia is largely represented by Jemaah Islamiyah (Islamic Society), or JI. The organization, which has long­standing ties with al-Qaeda, is also active in neighboring countries, especially Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore, as well as the more distant Thailand and Cambodia. Other militant organizations in Indonesia include the Front Pembela Islam (Islamic Defenders Front) and Laskar Jundullah. The Front Pembela Islam was formed in 1998 and is led by Saudi-educated Habib Muhammad Rizieq Shihab. Many of its leaders are at least part Arab. Laskar Jundullah, the military wing of the Indonesian Mujahideen Council, belongs to the Committee for the Establishment of Shariah Law in Indonesia and may have connec­tions with JI.
Training in the JI refers to  the Arabic word Dar Al Islam, the term literally translates as "the abode ofIslam" or "house ofIslam" - a reference to the Medina community foun­dedpy prophet Muhammed. Over more than. five decades, Darul has spawned many offshoots and splinters who com­mitted violent actsin the name of jihad. In fact, it is impossible tohave a clear and comprehensive understanding of all jihad­ist movements without looking at the development of Darul Islam.

As for Indonesia, Sekarmadji Maridjan Kar­tosuwirjo started an indigenous Islamic rebellion on August 7, 1949 - just when Indonesia was gaining independence from the Dutch colonial rule. Disappointed with the newly formed Indonesian Republic headed by Sukarno, Kartosuwirjo proclaimed his own Indonesian Islamic State (NIl) in opposition to the Jakarta's central government. Areas of West Java under NIl control were called "Darul Islam." An estimated 15,000 to 20,000 people died during the ensuing thirteen-year rebellion, which was finally crushed in 1962. Karto­suwirjo was captured and executed by a firing squad. But that was far from the end of Darul Islam.

After the overthrow of the Sukarno regi­me, the fortunes of Darul Islam turned. Virulently opposed to the godless communists, Darul veterans played a strong role in the fight against communism, from the mid -1960s through the 1980s. All Islamic organisations, induding Darul Islam, enthusiastically backed the CIA­orchestrated coup (from 1965 to 1966) that installed the Suharto dictatorship and resulted in the massacre of an esti­mated 500,000 Communist Party mem­bers, workers, and sympathisers.

Today, the objective of Darul Islam remains the same as its initial purpose: to establish an Islamic state in Indonesia. But they claim that they would never dream of using violence to achieve the goal. Non-Muslims are not the enemy, they say; rather, the enemy is the state ideology of Pancasila - a mere creation of humans.

On should note however that of the 88 percent of Indonesians who are Muslim today, half if not more, lead secular lives.

For our more detailed background study of Indonesia plus other countries in the region proceed to: Shaping Languages and Nationalities in Indonesia, Pakistan and India.

Malaysia

To a very large extent, Malaysia is a colonial British creation. It was formed from relatively autonomous Muslim polities (including the sultanates of Kelantan and Negri Sembilan). Many of its constituent states are still technically ruled by dynasties. Although Islam is the official state religion, only about 6 in 10 Malaysians are Muslim, according to the government's 2000 census figures.

Malaysia has been less affected by militant Islamism than other countries with Muslim majorities. But that is not to say the country is immune from Islamist extremist groups. The country's foremost terrorist organization, Kumpulan Mujahideen Malaysia (KMM), is believed to have ties with JI. Established in 1995 by an Afghani named Zainon Ismail, KMM is also suspected of coordinating with a radical group based in Indonesia known as Mujahideen Kompak.

A small number of Thai Islamic secessionists are believed to have found safe haven in the Malaysian sultanates close to the Thailand border. Some analysts expect this trend to grow in coming years.

The Philippines

Spain colonized the Philippines in the 16th century, but the Spanish managed to exercise complete control only on Luzon and the other large islands. The United States took possession of the Philippines after defeating Spain in the Spanish-American War of 1898. The islands gained common­wealth status in 1935 and became fully independent in 1946, following World War II.

The Philippines is Asia's only Roman Catholic-majority state. Most Filipinos have Spanish names, speak English as a second language to their native Tagalog, and are practicing Catholics. However, Muslims constitute a large minority on the second-largest island, Mindanao, and its neighboring islands. Alienation is a common experience among this group. Secessionist Muslim movements have been active since the 1980s, first under the leadership of the Moro Liberation Front and now under the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). (A Spanish term originally used to denote a member of the Arab-Berber Muslim people who conquered Spain in the eighth century, Moro, or "Moor," is now used to signify any Filipino Muslim.) The main goal of the Filipino Moros is to separate the Muslim majority islands from the Philippines. While many Muslim activists in the Philippines are not terrorists, there are at least two major Islamist terrorist organizations in the country, Abu Sayyaf (named after the sword of an early Islamic militant), and the local branch of JI. Both of the groups occa­sionally cooperate with the MILE Abu Sayyaf has long-standing ties with al-Qaeda. Its founder, the late Abdurajak Janjalani (killed in a shoot-out with security forces in 1998), was a veteran of al-Qaeda's terrorist training camps in Afghanistan. Abu Sayyaf specializes in kidnapping foreigners for ransom, and it is especial­ly active on the island of Basilan. Its membership is estimated at a few hundred at most.

Singapore

Its population of about 4.3 million is multiethnic (with a Chinese majority and significant Malay and Indian minorities) and multireligious'(including Buddhists, Muslims, Christians, Taoists, and Sikhs).

Singapore is noted for its tight social control, and currently allows the detention of suspects for up to two years without trial. This has certainly mitigated the risk of terrorist attacks within Singapore's borders.

Nevertheless, Islamist terrorists from other countries in the region have used Singapore as a base in the past; the island offers easy access to nearby areas of Muslim extremist activity (including Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines). In addition, as a hub of business and commercial activity, Singapore itself has a wealth of potential targets for terrorist attacks. Its maritime commercial lines, essential to Singapore's economy, are believed to be particularly vulnerable.

In 1999 the Jemaah Islamiyah cell in Singapore had reconnoitered several targets, taking the family out for the day to camouflage the five films an engineer called Hashim bin Abbas and a printer called Mohammed Khalim bin Jaffar recorded. These had soundtracks: 'This is the bicycle bay as viewed from the footpath that leads to the MRT station [where a shuttle bus dropped off US troops]. You will notice that some of the boxes are placed on the motorcycles - these are the same type of boxes that we intend to use.'

Atef asked Hambali for a scientist to take over al-Qaeda's biological weapons program. Hambali introduced JI member Yazid Sufaat to al-Zawahirire in command of al-Qaeda in Kandahar. Sufaat spent several months trying to cultivate anthrax in a lab near Kandahar's airport.
An edited master disc was sent by Hambali to Mohammed Atef in Afghanistan who green lighted the project. It was found intact in the debris of Atef's house, along with targeting notes that he had taken as Khalim spoke with him.

Atef asked Hambali for a scientist to take over al-Qaeda's biological weapons program. Hambali introduced JI member Yazid Sufaat to al-Zawahiri2e in command of al-Qaeda in Kandahar. Sufaat spent several months trying to cultivate anthrax in a lab near Kandahar's airport. (The 9-11 Commission Final Report. July 22, 2004. Chapter 5.1.)

As he put the final touches to 9/11, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's mind turned to this new venture. The idea was to rig seven trucks with ammonium nitrate and fuel-oil bombs each weighing three tons. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed dispatched Farthur Roman al-Ghozi, or 'Mike the Bomb Maker', and an Arab code-named 'Sammy', the former being the master bomber behind the Christmas campaign in Indonesia. The targets were the US and Israeli embassies, the Australian and British High Commissions, a US naval base and other American commercial interests. They used codes like 'market' (Malaysia), 'soup' (Singapore), 'book' (passport) and 'white meat' for Westerners. The targets were filmed and recorded on a video CD entitled 'Visiting Singapore Sightseeing'. As the group had four tons of ammonium nitrate in store, they only had to get a further seventeen. A friend of a friend knew a despatch clerk at a firm of chemical importers. When the friend came to buy the bomb ingredients, he was arrested. His interrogation led to the arrest of twenty-three Jemaah Islamiyah members in Singapore. The Singaporean government insisted that the dominant ethnic Chinese should not blame the Malay Muslim minority, while explaining to the latter that they would be subject to specific security checks, on the grounds that if you are looking for a stolen Jaguar you do not stop all Mercedes. They did not bother with vacuities about hearts and minds. Lee Kuan Yew, the ever vigilant father of the nation, demanded that Singapore's neighbors co-operate in the fight against terrorism, while simultaneously criticizing distortions in Western foreign policy.

Thwarted in their desire to cause simultaneous havoc with seven suicide truck bombs, AI Qaeda fell back on Plan B, soft Western targets in South Asia, the outcome of which was the Bali bomb blast.

In 2001 Singapore authorities rolled up a Jemaah Islamiyah cell that had been surveying potential targets since 1997. Most of the 15 JI members involved were Singapore residents, and 8 had spent time in al-Qaeda training camps.

The Singaporean cell had about sixty to eighty members, including women and several people with well-paid jobs. They paid an extra income tax that went to Al Qaeda and to cross-subsidizing Jemaah Islamiyah in Malaysia as a whole. While Ate licensed one line of attack, Jemaah Islamiyah's leaders in Malaysia authorized the Singapore cell to attack water pipes on which the city depended and to crash a Russian airliner into Changi airport by way of avenging the Chechens. They also wanted to attack a US warship with a suicide boat at a point where a narrow channel would restrict its evasive maneuvers. Al Qaeda had this second set of projects shelved while it pushed ahead for a spectacular.

Between December 9 and 24, Singapore authorities made the arrests. By that point, the JI members had already stored 3.9 tons of ammonium nitrate, commonly used in large vehicle bombs, and were looking to acquire another 16.7 tons.

 Then Abu Dujana, self-confessed leader of JI's military wing, was caught in 2007. While, Mas Selamat bin Kastari, was behind a plot to hijack a plane and crash it into Singapore's Changi Airport.

Mor recently in 2008 then, is trying to regroup and consolidate so that they can carry out major attacks again. But while they have volunteers to carry out suicide bombings but they don't have they are said to not have the bombs a the moment.

Thus, Singapore remains a number one terrorist target in the region. Because for JI  Singapore is a big prize, just like America before 9/11.

In 2001 Singapore authorities rolled up a Jemaah Islamiyah cell that had been surveying potential targets since 1997. Most of the 15 JI members involved were Singapore residents, and 8 had spent time in al-Qaeda training camps.

In October 2001, JI members assisted two al-Qaeda operatives as they videotaped potential targets in Singapore, including visiting U.S. Navy vessels and personnel; U.S. aircraft and facilities; the embassies of the United States, Israel, the United Kingdom, and Australia; the Singapore Ministry of Defense complex; and office buildings housing U.S. firms. U.S. authorities caught wind of the danger when the videotape of the surveillance mission was found in the rubble of an al-Qaeda house in Afghanistan. In early December 2001, they alerted Singapore of the cell members' activities.

Between December 9 and 24, Singapore authorities made the arrests.
By that point, the JI members had already stored 3.9 tons of ammonium nitrate, commonly used in large vehicle bombs, and were looking to acquire another 16.7 tons.

Then Abu Dujana, self-confessed leader of JI's military wing, was caught in 2007. While, Mas Selamat bin Kastari, was behind a plot to hijack a plane and crash it into Singapore's Changi Airport.

Mor recently in 2008 then, is trying to regroup and consolidate so that they can carry out major attacks again. But while they have volunteers to carry out suicide bombings but they don't have they are said to not have the bombs a the moment.

Thus, Singapore remains a number one terrorist target in the region. Because for JI  Singapore is a big prize, just like America before 9/11.

Thailand

Thailand is one of the few Asian countries that has never known European colonial rule except for Japan during WWII. As Siam, it ruled over non-Thai areas in what are today Cambodia and Malaysia. The Thais are largely of southern Chinese origin and are overwhelmingly Buddhist. But the country's four southern­most provinces-Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat, and Satun-which were annexed by the Siamese kingdom in the 19th century, are ethnically Malay and Muslim. Islamist activities are largely limited to these  provinces, a region conquered but never assimilated by Siam's Buddhist regimes.

Until recently Thailand's "southern problem" was an ethnic one (though the government in Bangkok steadfastly denied the existence of any problem at all). However, it was discovered that JI had first developed the plans for the 2002 Bali bombings during meetings in Thailand earlier that year. And in 2003 JI planned attacks on Western embassies and tourist sites in Thailand, although these were uncovered and prevented.

More recently however the influx of Islamists accros the border from Mallaysia has delloped  to a real 'insurgency' by today. In October 2005
Gen Panlop Pinmanee, deputy director of the Internal SeGurityOperations Command criticised state mechanisms and security forces in charge of tackling violence in the deep South.

He said some 3,000 key militants scattered in southern villages had been trained in Libya.

"The militants currently use hit-and­run tactics. And if the state continues to send in more troops and put them in particular spots, they will continue to lose, " he told a forum of Isoc executives. "So far we have employed lots of troops to hunt them (militants) down because we fear for the safety of our own men. If it's a one-on-one duel, they can't beat us except when we really run out of luck. On October 25, 2005, five bombs targeted security officers and government offices in Yala and Pattani and killed a civilian in Narathiwat.

Since January 2004, the violence in the southern provinces of Thailand has claimed more than 2,000 lives. The violence has also adversely affected the local economy and quality of life in the southern provinces. The atmosphere of fear and intimidation is dividing the society on religious lines, with growing apprehension that what began as a separatist nationalist conflict might well end up as a clash between Buddhism and Islam. There is also a strong potential for the Muslim insurgency in southern Thailand to get sucked into the global jihad.

Case Study: Jihad or Quest for Justice?

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