Taliban Takeover Could Boost Terrorism in Southeast Asia

09/13/2021 Singapore (International Christian Concern) – When the Taliban regained control of Kabul last month, many worried that Afghanistan would soon become a safe haven for those with extremist ideology.

Security agencies and experts are sounding the alarm for a potential increase of terrorist acts in Asia.

In an interview on Sept. 10, Singapore’s Minister of Justice and Home Affairs, K. Shanmugam, said that this is because Afghanistan had, under the previous Taliban regime, provided a safe haven for potential terrorists from Southeast Asia, including from Singapore. They provided a safe haven for training and easy access to weapons.

Ahead of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers, he told reporters, “If you ask what do would-be terrorists need or what helps would-be terrorists go out and do bad things: A safe haven, a place where they can train, a place where their minds can be hardened and radicalized even more.”

Addressing Singapore’s security situation, the minister responded, “In day-to-day terms, I would not say that the events in Afghanistan have led to an immediate increase in the security threat – but this is a strategic issue; it’s a mid-term to a longer-term issue and we’ll need to be prepared for that.”

He also mentioned the Sept. 3 terrorist attack in Auckland, where an IS supporter stabbed and wounded six people in a supermarket. He believes the attack could have been prevented if it was not for New Zealand’s flawed counterterrorism laws.

He added, “Every country has to find its own way to deal with this challenge. For us, the key is to make sure the social and economic policies help keep good opportunities for all, and make sure that people feel that they have a stake in the country. That helps to keep extremism and radicalism to a very limited number.”

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