07/13/2019 Singapore (International Christian Concern) – At the 13th ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting (ADMM) in Thailand, Singapore Minister of Defense Ng Eng He warned that member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) must expect increase in terrorist activity.
He commented that while the arrest of the leader of militant network Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) in Indonesia earlier this month was a good development, a new wave of terrorism has already landed on ASEAN shores.
“If you date it to 9/11, Al-Qaeda, Bali bomb blast, the rest of the JI leaders; there was a lull, if you like, with Islamic State-related activities going up in Iraq and Syria. But that means now that when the center of gravity shifts to ASEAN, we must expect an increase in activity and we already have seen it,” he said.
He added that the number of people radicalized and the number of terror networks in ASEAN countries, including in Singapore, have gone up. “Whether it is in the networks that are formed or whether it is in the availability of procurement of weapons for terrorist activities, all these have gone up. None of the signs suggest to us that the threat of terrorism has come down,” he said.
In response, ASEAN defense ministers pledged to promote sustainable security cooperation and continue to implement the ASEAN Our Eyes initiative, a collaborative platform to build a database to counter violent extremism across the region.