Threats & Responses
27 & 28 August 2018
IACSP successfully conducted its 2nd bi-annual Security Symposium, gathering international security professionals and practitioners to discuss risks, threats and responses to counter acts of terrorism in Southeast Asia.
This event has brought together high level support from Malaysia's Defense and Police forces as part of the Malaysian government's commitment to combat terrorism and violent extremism taking place in the region.
The event was graced by Malaysia's Minister of Defense. Also present was Malaysian Police Special Branch Counterterrorism Director, Datuk Ayub Khan, who delivered a keynote presentation reflecting on the recent terror attacks in the region.
A total of of 150 delegates, mostly from southeast asia countries participated in the conference. We have seen a significant rise in the number of attendees to this conference as compared to the last event held in 2016, indicating the growing concern towards countering terrorism in the region.
The conference also calls the need for a more collaborative effort on intelligence gathering between all parties including information from private sectors and the general public.
In his opening speech, Mohammad Sabu questioned the 'real' perpetrators behind the terror attacks and their intentions. The Minister further asked "who are the real Father & Mothers of these terrorists?"
In this context, he expressed concerns of similar violence currently happening towards the Rohingya community in Myanmar and that these group may retaliate or resolve to become subside bombers or be manipulated to join terrorist cells. Presently there are more than 150 terrorist cells operating globally.
Main Topics Discussed
Panel of advisers consist of practitioners, experts and academia professionals who shared knowledge on the current landscape of terror and recruitment activities in the region.
Four (4) panel sessions were held to deliberate on current issues that needs great attention:-
Panel topics we mainly focused on:
Countering Home Grown Violent Extremism in the Southeast Asia Region
Home Grown Violent Extremism (HVE) has become an important topic of discussion as threats are no longer coming from foreigners outside nations boarders. Terror attacks are now carried out by the people living in their own countries. This phenomenon has become a major national security threat to the ASEAN region, in particular from far right Islamist extremist
Symposium Speakers - From right to left: R. Rakyan Adibrata IACSP Deputy Country Director (Indonesia), Noor Huda Ismail, Founder of The Institute for International Peace Building of Indonesia, Andrin Raj IACSP SEA Regional Director and Adinaraina Adina IACSP Head of Deradicalisation Program
Regional terrorism financing was a main topic that drew a lot of attention. Delegates were exposed to new methods of remittances and the multi-layered money laundering models that would escape detection by the banks and lawmakers. These insights were exposed by Investment and financial risk expert Mr. Kevin Ho from Singapore.
Terrorist are using legitimate methods of laundering money i.e. through corporate donations, protection & security services and crypto currency. Kevin also shared that Forbes magazine reported on the amount of wealth accumulated by ISIS operating with turnover of US$2 Billion annually. Established terror cells has amassed enough funds to be self sustaining and are able to support terror cells that pledges allegience to ISIS.
Social Media & Web 2.0
Social media sits on top of the list of the most effective recruitment tool used to spread extreme ideologies to society.
Delegates were glad to hear of Facebook's efforts in fighting terrorism. It has setup a counterterrorism department to monitor terror network activities in Asia Pacific. Among others, the unit set policies and alerts the relevant authorities of suspicious activities.
According to the Head of Facebook's Counterterrorism Policy Asia Pacific, Gulnaz Bias, the global company adopts the use of automation and human reviews to investigate and enforce policies to counterterrorism. All of this is done to create a open, safe and secure online environment.
Closing Keynote Address
The conference ended on a high note. Addressing the closure was Deputy Defense Minister of Malaysia, Senator Liew Chin Tong, who reminded delegates about the terrifying attacks in Bali, Jakarta and Southern Phillipines as a wake up call for everyone stay resilient.
He urged governments, businesses and civil society to work together in building good intelligence gathering capabilities and to stay united in maintaining the peace and stability in the country and the region.
The Deputy Minster congratulated delegates, speakers and IACSP for another successful conference.