Scale and complexity of terror threat to Southeast Asia growing, ASEAN says

Above, ASEAN defense ministers during their two-day meeting in Singapore. Six Southeast Asian nations launched an intelligence pact last month aimed at combating Islamist militants and improving co-operation on security threats. (AFP)
Updated 06 February 2018
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Scale and complexity of terror threat to Southeast Asia growing, ASEAN says

SINGAPORE: The terrorist threat facing Southeast Asia is growing as foreign fighters return to the region, Southeast Asian defense ministers said in a joint statement on Tuesday in which they pledged to improve cooperation to tackle militancy.
Six Southeast Asian nations launched an intelligence pact last month aimed at combating Islamist militants and improving co-operation on security threats, overcoming what analysts described as a high level of distrust. They also pledged to increase cooperation in July.
“We, the Defense Ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), note with grave concern the rise of terrorism in our region, perpetrated by individuals and groups with increasingly sophisticated and deadly tactics and weapons,” they said at the conclusion of their two-day meeting in Singapore.
“The scale and complexity of the terrorist threat faced by our region continues to grow with the influx of returning foreign terrorist fighters and cross-border movement of terrorists.”
The ministers said they would also improve cooperation with external partners.
The push for further regional cooperation comes after insurgents aligned to Daesh laid siege to the southern Philippine city of Marawi last year.
That battle sparked alarm that as Daesh suffered reversals in Iraq and Syria, it was seeking to create a stronghold in Southeast Asia, buttressed by fighters returning from the Middle East.
ASEAN consists of Indonesia, which has the world’s biggest Muslim population, and mostly Muslim Malaysia alongside Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Singapore, ranked one of the safest countries in the world, has also been stepping up efforts to deter terrorism in recent years.


Gulf Arab youths form volunteer group in Australia

Updated 20 May 2019
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Gulf Arab youths form volunteer group in Australia

  • Wasel Club is the first Arab volunteer group in the capital city of South Australia Adelaide
  • The club chose to begin with the traditional Gargee’an

ADELAIDE: Young Arabs from various Gulf countries have organized a volunteer group to spread Gulf culture and traditions in Australia.
Wasel Club, the first Arab volunteer group in the capital city of South Australia Adelaide, aims to achieve its mission by enhancing cooperation and teamwork through various cultural, national and social activities.
The club has chosen to begin with the traditional Gargee’an, which takes place in the middle of Ramadan, during which families give different kinds of treats to kids and traditional games are played by the elderly.
“We’d been thinking of a good way to commence our activities. Gargee’an is an activity that involves all ages,” Razan Al-Dossary, the founder of Wasel and a nursing student at South Australia University, told Arab News.
“Gargee’an is an interesting, fun and friendly event that allows people to connect with each other and see interesting aspects of Arab culture and society,” she said.
“All members of the (Wasel) team are students who are thousands of miles away from home. We saw an opportunity for us and other Arabs to experience the way Gargee’an is done back home.”