ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
The post Bin-Laden era in Asia
By David Swartzemtruber
The death of bin Laden resembles the death of a longtime national leader and raises the question-“What’s next?”
During Bin Laden’s tenure the goal was to establish autonomous terrorist groups that could act independently. That goal apparently has been successful. The recent arrest of three German nationals plotting to cause mayhem in Dusseldorf, Germany, is yet another example of the decentralization of Al-Qaida.
The strongest wing of Al-Qaida is now in Yemen.
It is safe to project that the death of bin Laden may inspire others to pursue terrorist activities with renewed vengeance.
Turning to Asean, the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia, have all been sites for Muslim terrorist activities.
The foiling of the recent Good Friday bomb plot on a Catholic church in Indonesia is good evidence of the continuing appeal of terrorism to small groups in the world’s largest Muslim country. The Bali bombing mastermind , Hambali, whose real name is Riduan Issamuddin, was caught in Thailand in 2003. That is further evidence that Asean countries can be a location for terrorists.
Ansyaad Mbai, the head of the Indonesian government's agency BNPT tasked to curb terror acts, said bin Laden’s death reduces the worldwide terrorism threat. However, there is no guarantee of that.
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