A Jihad in Java? Daesh Now Threatens Southeast Asia

© AP Photo / Militant Website, FileFighters from the al-Qaida linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) marching in Raqqa, Syria
Fighters from the al-Qaida linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) marching in Raqqa, Syria - Sputnik International
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Singapore’s defense minister has warned that Daesh (ISIL/ISIS) poses a “clear and present danger” to Southeast Asia. In the past three years, the group has attracted more followers than al-Qaeda did in the ten years after 9/11.

Singapore’s Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen has warned that Daesh fighters pose a “clear and present danger to Southeast Asia as they return from Syria and Iraq with a mission to establish a caliphate.”

In the past three years, Daesh and its ideology have attracted more followers in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore than al-Qaida drew in the 10 years following the September 11 attacks in the US.

In this photo released on Sunday, June 28, 2015, by a website of Islamic State militants, an Islamic State militant waves his group's flag as he and another celebrate in Fallujah, Iraq, west of Baghdad - Sputnik International
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Up to 150 Islamist fighters left predominantly Muslim Malaysia for Iraq and Syria, including some from the Malaysian armed forces.
Indonesia is the most populous predominantly Muslim country in the world; it has reported more than 500 Daesh fighters from among its population. A few have traveled from Singapore, Ng said at an event organized by the Washington-based think tank Center for a New American Security.

“The returned fighters have come back with allegiance to Daesh (ISIL/ISIS) and the mission to form an Islamic caliphate in our part of the world,” he added.

Would-be martyrs joining the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) from around the world are complaining of favoritism, as senior militants tap friends and family for the honor of blowing themselves up in the name of jihad. - Sputnik International
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“They have sympathizers; they have foreign fighters who are trained, who have the motivation, the means, and who have a common vision,” he said.

He stressed the importance of intelligence-sharing among countries in the region to address the threat, while expressing concern that followers of al-Qaida-linked groups in Southeast Asia who had pledged allegiance to Daesh would now link up.

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