U.S. President Barak Hussein Obama Visits the National Mosque of Malaysia

Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia Agree to Boost Fight to Thwart Terrorism

Facing a deadly Islamic State-inspired siege in the southern city of Marawi, the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia agreed on Thursday to closely coordinate in stopping the cross-border flows of weapons and fighters.

Hosted by Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and attended by his Indonesian and Malaysian counterparts, the meeting focused on solidifying a concerted action against regional militants.

The meeting took place amid the backdrop of month-long firefights between the Philippine military and the IS-backed Abu Sayyaf and Maute group.

Authorities said the Filipino militants, led by Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon, were backed by Indonesian, Malaysian, Singaporean and Middle Eastern fighters, raising fears the Islamic State has set its sights into establishing a regional base in the restive southern Philippines, which for decades has been the scene of a brutal Muslim insurgency.

Cayetano and his Indonesian and Malaysian counterparts Retno Marsudi and Anifah Aman, respectively, agreed to boost cooperation “in addressing the common threats of terrorism and violent extremism confronting the region,” according to joint statement issued after the talks.

Their respective military and police are to work more closely on intelligence and information sharing in thwarting “potential, imminent and real threats,” it said.

They also agreed to stem the flow of terrorist financing, combat the spread of propaganda, as well as address the underlying conditions that fuel extremism including poverty, illegal drugs, crime and social injustice.

The Putra Mosque in Malaysia
The Putra Mosque in Malaysia. Pjhoto: roslirich (Pixabay).

Suppressing propaganda, financing

The ministers said they would also work together in suppressing terrorist propaganda through cyberspace, as well as prevent the flow of firearms and humans across porous borders.

A special provision about special military and law-enforcement training was also agreed on, while extremist narrative is to be countered through community engagement where local religious leaders are expected to play a role.

Cayetano said the aim was to boost trilateral cooperation to stop “extremists from establishing operational bases in the Southeast Asian region.”

On Thursday, the security command in the eastern part of Sabah in Malaysia placed Hapilon and Abdullah Maute, leader of IS Lanao group, as among 18 most-wanted criminals who might enter the region from Marawi.

Officials of the Eastern Sabah Security Command said they have been alerted that the duo could flee Marawi and potentially use Sabah either as a transit point or a hiding place.

“Since the offensive in Marawi city, we are worried they will enter our country under the guise of being illegal immigrants or fishermen,” command chief Wan Abdul Bari Wan Abdul Khalid said.

Full story: BenarNews

Felipe Villamor

Copyright ©2017, BenarNews. Used with the permission of BenarNews.


The main purpose of Thailand News is to offer our readers all news from the most popular and trusted newspapers in Thailand & Asia in one place.

Get breaking news and the latest news headlines from Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya, Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand, Isan, the insurgency-plagued South and Asia.

You May Also Like

More From Author

+ There are no comments

Add yours

Leave a Reply