By Kumar Ramakrishna, See Seng Tan
This booklet severely analyses the categorical danger of terrorism in Southeast Asia because the Bali blasts of 12 October 2002 and the US-led conflict on Iraq. It deals a entire and important exam of the ideological, socioeconomic and political motivations, trans-regional linkages, and media representations of the terrorist probability within the quarter, assesses the efficacy of the nearby counter-terror reaction and indicates a extra balanced and nuanced method of scuffling with the phobia hazard in Southeast Asia. The members contain best students of political Islam within the area, popular terrorism and nearby safeguard analysts, in addition to very popular neighborhood newshounds and commentators. This represents a powerful and unrivaled mix of workmanship.
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Additional info for After Bali: The Threat of Terrorism in Southeast Asia
It is such power, however, to shape the prevailing orthodoxy that is so problematic. Ramakrishna observes elsewhere that the enormously influential American media tend to see Southeast Asia as a "monolithic 'second front' in the war on terror, with coverage skewed towards a focus on terror plots, terror attacks and detentions of alleged terrorists with links to Al-Qaeda". He notes: The richness and diversity of Southeast Asia and regional Islam is virtually ignored. 24 That Ramakrishna is not exaggerating is borne out by a commentary by two leading American commentators who attempted to impose in a deductive, topdown manner a model of "militant Islam" divorced from empirical realities on the ground.
While JI for instance, may have had closer contact and association with Al Qaeda, as Williams observes, Gerakan Aceh Merdeka (GAM) in Aceh, is driven by local issues essentially, and has had only "marginal association" with Osama bin Laden. Williams adds that a major problem facing the majority of academics engaged in terrorism analysis is that they have access to only a "small percentage" of the total information available. Intelligence agencies have total control of the relevant data and as is well known, rarely see it fit to share such information with one another, let alone academics.
While there has been no lack of counter-terror activities within ASEAN, K. S. Nathan however, acknowledges that the bigger challenge for the association would be to move more boldly and aggressively to engage "in non-traditional cooperation to address nontraditional threats to regional security". Apart from suggestions of less than optimal inter-state co-operation in the war on terror in Southeast Asia, a second oft-heard criticism is that some Southeast Asian governments have been too slow in taking decisive action against terror cells and activities within their national boundaries.