JAYA PRAKASH's picture
Al-Qaeda Warns Myanmar
Posted on Sep 27, 2017

The terror group, Al-Qaeda has warned Myanmar over mistreatment of ethnic Rohinhya minority in the nation.

The cryptic warning hardly sits well with many in the Association of South-East Asian (ASEAN) nations trading grouping, of which Naypyidaw is a member.

The warning follows on the heels of yet another supposedly Al-Qaeda-inspired insurgency, choking yet another ASEAN member; the Philippines.

For weeks and even months the world and global news media have been gripped by images and news reports of Rohingya Muslims fleeing the clutches of a massive security crackdown that many perceive as being as wholly disproportionate, discriminatory and aimed what some have derided as ‘ethnic cleansing’.

In early september, Singapore’s former Prime Minister, Goh Chok Tong was quoted as saying in the widely-circulating broadsheet the Straits Times that ‘ISIS was active in the region’, meaning South-East Asia.

Though nothing so far has happened to how the terror group plans to make good on its threat, it is calling for volunteers in the name of solidarity.

"We call upon all mujahid brothers in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and the Philippines to set out for Burma to help their Muslim brothers, and to make the necessary preparations - training and the like - to resist this oppression’, it reportedly said and quoted by Channel News.
There is no official headcount of the number of fighters Al-Qaeda is planning to raise. But, if indications to the extent of the fighting in the Philippine is any guide, most of the insurgents fighting in the jungle hideouts in the Philippines are reportedly known to be well trained, well indoctrinated and highly motivated. And the group has urged those across South-East – a region which is overwhelmingly Muslim – to join in its 'crusade'

The call to arms would pose a problem to the Myanmar security forces who have never really met a match they presumably may not be able to meet, akin to how the Sri Lankan army experiences when fighting the hardened and battle-savvy Tamil Tigers over three decades.
Calls by ISIS to bomb cities in Myanmar and wreak the very kind of horrifying attacks that gripped Western nations by street attacks and beheadings are a sure cause for concern.
This is not the first time that the exodus of the Rohingya has met with international condemnation. Over the last several years beginning from the early 2000 onward, Malaysia has been leading the charge and even attacking the moral credibility and leadership of its president Aung San Suu Kyi.
‘What’s the use of Aung San Suu Kyi having a Nobel Prize?, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak caustically, asked last year at a rally for supporters.

“We want to tell Aung San Suu Kyi, enough is enough... We must and we will defend Muslims and Islam," he said as supporters chanted "Allahu Akbar [God is greater]". "We want the OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) to act.

"Please do something. The UN do something. The world cannot sit and watch genocide taking place"

It perhaps is that moral cause of defending and coming to the rescue of its suffering brethren that Al-Qaeda sported a neat, ideological chance.

And one does need to wonder if the group would ever leave that chance to chance.

– Jaya Prakash is a defence journalist based in Singapore