Maritime terrorism in Asia: An assessment

Abhijit Singh

This paper evaluates the possibility of an increase in maritime terrorist violence in Asia, based on a recounting and analysis of some of the most recent past incidents in these waters. It argues that the vulnerability of high seas shipping to criminal acts of violence and the weak and inconsistent nature of maritime governance raises the possibility of a terrorist strike in the Asian littorals. In assessing the odds of a major terrorist attack in coastal regions, the paper also explores the terrorism-piracy nexus and the state of port security in key continental spaces, highlighting measures to improve maritime readiness against acts of terror.

Introduction

In recent years, sea-borne terrorism has emerged as a major security threat in littoral-Asia. Since the November 2008 attacks in Mumbai—when ten Pakistani terrorists infiltrated the city from the sea, killing 166 people and injuring over 300—regional watchers have been wary of the possibility of another attack from the seas. Within India’s security establishment, the anxiety has been palpable. In November 2018, a few weeks shy of the tenth anniversary of the Mumbai attacks, intelligence emerged that Pakistan-based militant outfits Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed had been training their cadres to execute another strike on Indian ports, cargo ships and oil tankers.[1]Reportedly, Pakistani militant commanders had been training volunteers at modified training sites and canals in Lahore and Faisalabad for “samundari jihad” (seaborne jihad). Unlike 26/11, when terrorists had used the sea route to enter Mumbai and stage attacks on land targets, the plan this time around was to deploy trained jihadi divers to target an Indian or coastal facility.[2]

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Source: orfonline.org

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Military seizes bomb-making material in Sulu

By CNN Philippines Staff

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 17)— The military recovered nearly a ton of a bomb-making inputs during an operation in Sulu on Saturday.

In a statement Tuesday, the Joint Task Force Sulu said authorities have seized at least 700 kilograms of ammonium nitrate and another bomb component, an 81-mm mortar fuse in Barangay Latih in Patikul town over the weekend.

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Source: cnnphilippines.com

Philippine military says Abu Sayyaf terrorists behind Sunday’s suicide bombing

MANILA, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) — The Abu Sayyaf terrorists are behind Sunday’s suicide bomb attack in a remote town in the southern Philippines, a general of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said on Monday.

Lt. General Cirilito Sobejana, chief of the AFP’s Western Mindanao Command, said the unidentified female bomber, clad in black Muslim clothes, allegedly shouted Allah Akbar as she staggered towards the gate of a military camp in Sulu province.

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Source: xinhuanet.com

1 dead, 4 injured in Abu Sayyaf encounter in Basilan — military


Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 14)
 — An armed militia man was killed while four civilians were wounded in an encounter Sunday in Basilan with unidentified men believed to be Abu Sayyaf group members, the military said.

The Western Mindanao Command reported that at around 8 a.m., a barangay peacekeeping action team outpost at Sitio Bohe Pahut, Barangay Central Sumisip was harassed by reported Abu Sayyaf members under sub-group leader Pasil Bayali.

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Source: cnnphilippines.com

Marine battalion off to Sulu to beef up hunt for terrorists

ZAMBOANGA CITY –– A Marine battalion has been deployed to Sulu to beef up the government’s security presence in the province, rocked by recent bombings in a military facility, and grappling with a long-running bout with terrorists.

Their mission: “Destroy the Abu Sayyaf … and establish a peaceful and stable environment in Sulu,” said Rear Admiral Erick Kagaoan, commander of Naval Forces Western Mindanao.

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Source: newsinfo.inquirer.net

Exclusive: Western oil exploration in Somalia may spark conflict – U.N. report

Western commercial oil exploration in disputed areas of Somalia and discrepancies over which authorities can issue licenses to companies could spark further conflict in the African nation, U.N. monitors warned in a confidential report.

In the U.N. Monitoring Group’s latest annual report to the Security Council’s sanctions committee on Somalia and Eritrea, the experts said the Somali constitution gives considerable autonomy to regional governments to enter commercial oil deals.

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Source: the-star.co.ke

Another Marine battalion to be deployed in Sulu

Jaime Laude

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Marines Corps (PMC) is sending another battalion to Sulu to help in the operations against Abu Sayyaf bandits in the province and nearby areas.

Capt. Felix Serapio Jr., PMC spokesman, said the 8th Marine Battalion Landing Team (MBLT-8) is ready for deployment in Sulu after a nine-month training in Manila.

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Source: philstar.com