An update on what Bin Laden’s death might mean for Southeast Asia, a topic I mentioned in my previous post.
First, an item by by Zachary Abuza from the blog of the Southeast Asia program at the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies:
Last Sunday’s spectacular raid in which Osama bin Laden was killed will have important implications for the future of al Qaeda. It will also have modest implications for regional affiliates, aspirants and other violent groups in Southeast Asia.
And on Thailand:
In southern Thailand, where an ethno-religious based insurgency has raged since January 2004, claiming the lives of over 4,500 people and wounding over 9,000, bin Laden’s death will have little impact. Although the militants have an Islamist component to their agenda and have no qualms about mass casualty and indiscriminate attacks on civilians, they have never done so in al Qaeda’s name. Though there were some ties between JI and some of the insurgents in the past, there are few if any today. There is no known al Qaeda funding or support for the insurgents, although al Qaeda propaganda, video and bomb-making materials have been found on the computers of detained suspects.
Second, here’s the International Crisis Group’s Sidney Jones, in the Jakarta Post, on issues in Indonesia:
Osama bin Laden is being hailed as a hero and martyr by radical groups around the country, with the Islam Defenders Front (FPI) holding a program of “gratitude for service” later today at its headquarters. Demonstrations against the US by other groups are planned. The question is whether there will be more serious consequences, and three come to mind.
One: a temporary shift back to foreign targets.
Two: possibility of revenge attacks.
Three: Strengthened attachment to al-Qaeda.