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ICC Note: Regional and international terrorist groups are eager to utilize the Rohingya crisis as an entry point for waging jihad in Myanmar, according to analysts familiar with the situation. The Arakan Rohingya Solidarity Army (ARSA) already came forth to say that it has no links with Al-Qaeda, the Islamic State (IS), Laskar-e-Taiba or any transnational terrorist group.

10/03/2017 Myanmar (Channel News Asia) – As the crisis in Myanmar’s Rakhine State continues, regional and international terror groups are coalescing around the plight of the Rohingya, calling for a jihad to defend them, warn analysts familiar with the situation.

The military crackdown against the Rohingyas in Rakhine State, triggered by an Aug 25 attack on 30 police posts and one military base by the Arakan Rohingya Solidarity Army (ARSA), is inflaming passions across the Muslim world.

With more than 500,000 Rohingya refugees now already across the border in Bangladesh, Al-Qaeda has issued a statement calling for Muslims to take up arms to defend them.

“The Rohingyas are seen as a much higher cause for jihad than the Syrian conflict,” Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay, head of Malaysia’s Special Branch counter-terrorism division, told Channel NewsAsia.

“Their plight is considered a persecution against Muslims akin to that of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.

A homegrown insurgent group, ARSA has taken pains to disavow links with international terrorist organisations.

“ARSA feels it is necessary to make it clear that it has no links with Al-Qaeda, the Islamic State (IS), Laskar-e-Taiba or any transnational terrorist group,” the group said in statement posted on its official Twitter page on Sep 14. “We do not welcome the involvement of these groups in the Arakan conflict.”

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