Was the ISIS Threat in Southeast Asia Overblown?

Hosted by the Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre

Wolfson Theatre, LSE New Academic Building (NAB), United Kingdom


Sidney Jones

Sidney Jones


Dr Jürgen Haacke

Dr Jürgen Haacke

In late July 2017, violent extremism in Southeast Asia seemed to have reached a new high. The control of Marawi city in the southern Philippines by ISIS-linked militants was in its third month. Indonesian extremists from different pro-ISIS groups were looking to join them. Funding was coming in from ISIS central through Indonesian leaders in Raqqa. A Malaysian professor, Dr Mahmud, seemed to have links everywhere, from southern Thailand to Bangladesh to Uighur militants to Iraq and Syria. Then Mosul, Raqqa and Marawi all fell, destroyed through a combination of hubris and airstrikes, and by October, many of the top operatives in Marawi with links to ISIS were dead. Suddenly, extremism in Southeast Asia seemed to be more background noise than the next big threat. In this lecture, Sidney Jones will look at the factors that raised alarm bells about terrorism in Southeast Asia, the lessons learned from Marawi and the risks going forward.

Sidney Jones is Founder and Director of Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC), a Jakarta-based NGO.

Jürgen Haacke is Director of the Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre, within the Institute of Global Affairs, and Associate Professor of International Relations at LSE.

The Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre (SEAC) is a cross-disciplinary, regionally-focused academic centre within the Institute of Global Affairs at LSE.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEJones

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