Asian nations urged to curb Daesh at its roots

Jesus Dureza
Updated 05 October 2017

Asian nations urged to curb Daesh at its roots

MANILA: Daesh must be countered at its inception and the conflict in the Philippine city of Marawi is an “eye opener” from which other countries should learn how to defeat violent extremism, a senior adviser to President Rodrigo Duterte has told Arab News.
The terrorist group “should not be allowed to incubate and mutate. And more importantly, the root cause as to why so many people, especially the youth, are attracted to or resort to violent extremism, must be addressed,” said Jesus Dureza.
Fighting is raging in the Mindanao island city between Philippine security forces and two Daesh affiliates, the Maute group and Abu Sayyaf. It began in May, when government forces launched an offensive to capture the Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon.
Violent extremism is an emerging problem for the Philippines and other member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Dureza said. ASEAN, established in 1967 and comprising the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, is scheduled to meet in November.
Even when the Marawi crisis is over, “the problem has only begun,” Dureza said.
“It is not only the physical reconstruction of destroyed Marawi. The more difficult task is the social healing and mending of broken relationships resulting from violence.”
Earlier, at a regional symposium on humanitarian issues in the ASEAN region, Dureza said the Marawi siege was an “eye opener” on a “new game that has no rules on humanitarian law, human rights or respect for non-combatants.
“We should draw lessons from this so we can improve on how to jointly handle similar situations that will eventually become bigger and more threatening if we, in the ASEAN, continue to consider it less important,” he said.
Dureza said modern technology had been an effective tool in countering extremists in combat, but at a great price. “We see missiles, smart bombs and drones able to kill the enemy efficiently and quickly. With all this technological advancement, we lose the humanity part. Sometimes, we forget what effect it has on victims, especially innocent civilians.”
A leading security expert, Col. David S. Maxwell, said Daesh was struggling to survive defeat in Syria and Iraq, and was therefore “trying to keep its ideology alive by spreading to other countries where it is taking advantage of the conditions of political resistance that weaken governments and provide safe havens for training, recruitment, and eventual resurrection of its quest for the caliphate.
“This is what appears to have attracted them to Mindanao,” Maxwell said in a recently published article. He said Abu Sayyaf and the Maute group had embraced Daesh ideology “to enhance their legitimacy and gain recruits, resources, and respect.”
Maxwell is associate director of the Center for Security Studies in the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He is a retired US Army Special Forces colonel who served in the Philippines.
In his article, Maxwell said the nature of the problem in the Philippines was not solely a security threat, and while the Marawi siege was a lightning rod that brought focus on Daesh, “it is only a symptom of the underlying problem.”


US judge delays extradition of Carlos Ghosn's accused escape plotters to Japan

Updated 29 October 2020

US judge delays extradition of Carlos Ghosn's accused escape plotters to Japan

  • Prosecutors say the Taylors facilitated a "brazen" escape in which Ghosn fled Japan on Dec. 29, 2019
  • Ghosn was awaiting trial on charges that he engaged in financial wrongdoing

BOSTON: A federal judge on Thursday granted a last-minute request to stop the US government from turning over to Japan two Massachusetts men to face charges that they helped smuggle former Nissan Motor Co Chairman Carlos Ghosn out of the country while he was awaiting trial on financial crimes.
US District Judge Indira Talwani in Boston granted a request by lawyers for US Army Special Forces veteran Michael Taylor and his son, Peter Taylor, to delay the transfer shortly before the two men were scheduled to be placed on a flight to Japan.
Their lawyers sought the delay after the State Department approved handing over the men, who in September lost a court challenge to their potential extradition. They were arrested in May at the request of Japanese authorities.
Taylors' lawyers and the State Department did not respond to requests for comment.
Prosecutors say the Taylors facilitated a "brazen" escape in which Ghosn fled Japan on Dec. 29, 2019, hidden in a box and on a private jet before reaching Lebanon, his childhood home, which has no extradition treaty with Japan.
Ghosn was awaiting trial on charges that he engaged in financial wrongdoing, including by understating his compensation in Nissan's financial statements. Ghosn denies wrongdoing.
The State Department notified the Taylors' lawyers of its decision on Wednesday.
US Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi, a Republican who has taken interest in the case, wrote on Twitter that he was "outraged" by the State Department's decision to extradite the two men. "This former Special Forces member and his son will not be treated fairly," he said.