Critical Infrastructure Protection & Resilience Asia

Scale, complexity of Asean terror threat growing

The terrorist threat facing Southeast Asia is growing as foreign fighters return to the region, Southeast Asian defence ministers said in a joint statement on Tuesday in which they pledged to improve cooperation to tackle militancy.

Six Southeast Asian nations launched an intelligence pact last month aimed at combating Islamist militants and improving co-operation on security threats, overcoming what analysts described as a high level of distrust. They also pledged to increase cooperation in July.

“We, the Defence Ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), note with grave concern the rise of terrorism in our region, perpetrated by individuals and groups with increasingly sophisticated and deadly tactics and weapons,” they said at the conclusion of their two-day meeting in Singapore.

“The scale and complexity of the terrorist threat faced by our region continues to grow with the influx of returning foreign terrorist fighters and cross border movement of terrorists.”

The ministers said they would also improve cooperation with external partners.

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