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Al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahiri The Coordinator 2016 Part 9-7-1-South Asia to Far East-10


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Al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahiri The Coordinator 2016 Part 9-7-1-South Asia to Far East-10

  1. 1. C de Waart; CdW Intelligence to Rent In Confidence 1The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see. –Winston Churchill Cees de waart: CdW Intelligence to Rent Page 1 of 10 28/06/2016 Al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahiri The Coordinator 2016 Part 9-7-1-South Asia to Far East-10 While we are looking somewhere else; The AQ battle space and playing Field. ‘Toghut’ (sinners against the teachings of Allah) hudud, the 7th century shaira law We are preparing for potential attacks within six months by two sources, Khatibah Nusantara in the Philippines, and central IS,” Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay, director of the Malaysian Police Counter- Terrorism unit told the New Straits Times. The so-called Islamic State (IS) has just released its first newspaper in the Malay Language, and declared in it a wilayah (province) in the Philippines. The publication of a Malay-language IS newspaper would have implications not only on Malay-speaking IS fighters in Iraq and Syria but also the Malay-speaking world in Southeast Asia. Abu Abdullah, also known as Isnilon Hapilon is on the FBI’s most wanted list with a bounty of $5 million on his head. Udin calls on jihadists to unite under the leadership of Abu Abdullah, a Philippine extremist leader of Abu Sayyaf militant group, who swore allegiance to IS in January. The latest video, titled ‘Toghut’ (sinners against the teachings of Allah), was released earlier this week and shows a Malaysian Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) fighter in Syria, along with two other IS combatants decapitating three captives. The Malaysian terrorist, identified as Mohd Rafi Udin from Negri Sembilan, threatens attacks against Malaysian police in the 20 minute video seen by Reuters. Islamic State terror group has called on its followers to focus their energy fighting in Southeast Asia besides battling in Iraq and Syria. In the latest propaganda video, the organization specifically calls on extremists to target Malaysia. Just like Abu Sayyaf, the Abu Dujana Brigade, Abi Khabib Brigade, the Jund Allah Brigade, and Abi Sadr found in the region have also pledged their allegiance to IS and its self-proclaimed ‘caliph’, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. “Targeted attacks will likely be carried out the minute the pledge of allegiance to IS from these groups outside Syria is accepted and the areas they operate in are declared theirs,” Pitchay said. “This video is not just propaganda but is a serious threat. We are definitely expecting more attacks in this region,” Pitchay told Reuters. “This is not the first video of its kind. But I would like to say here that PDRM [Royal Malaysia Police] will never let IS set foot or spread their ideology here,” Malaysian Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said on Friday. “We are not shaken by threats like these made by IS.” Asia Times: After Mideast, will the Saudi-Wahhabi nexus destabilize East Asia? BY CHRISTINA LIN ON JUNE 15, 2016 Southeast Asia’s youths are getting radicalized as Saudi Arabia is pouring money for the spread Wahhabism, a fundamental Sunni school of Islam, in the region. If the U.S. is serious about counter- terrorism, it should break the Saudi-Wahhabi nexus by dismantling the religious-industrial complex of Saudi-funded mosques and madrassas that serve as jihad factories producing suicide bombers from Africa to Europe and now Asia. Professor Brahma Chellaney from India’s Center for Policy Research has sound advice for the next American president regarding US militarized approach to fighting terrorism. In a December 2015 article entitled “Saudi Arabia’s Phony War on Terror”, Chellaney pointed to the Wahhabi ideology, “a messianic, jihad-extolling form of Sunni fundamentalism” as the root cause of
  2. 2. C de Waart; CdW Intelligence to Rent In Confidence 2The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see. –Winston Churchill Cees de waart: CdW Intelligence to Rent Page 2 of 10 28/06/2016 global terrorism. He warned that unless expansion of Wahhabism is arrested, the global war on terror is ineffective. ‘No matter how many bombs the US and its allies drop, the Saudi-financed madrassas will continue to indoctrinate tomorrow’s jihadists.[1] After two years of bombing campaign, Pentagon officials reveal US is now running out of bombs to drop on Islamic State (IS).[2] And the Saudi-Wahhabi nexus continues to indoctrinate new jihadists — now in East Asia. Southeast Asia next jihadi battleground In May, Malaysia shocked the world when Prime Minister Najib Razak’s government threw its support behind hudud, the 7th century shaira law that includes amputations and stonings, threatening the hitherto democratic and multi-ethnic country.[3] Razak received a $681 million gift from Saudi Arabia in April.[4] Calling it the “Saudization of Southeast Asia”, retired Malaysian diplomat Dennis Ignatius back in March 2015 had warned the Saudi-Wahhabi nexus “is the greatest single threat to peace and stability in the world today.”[5] Ignatius noted how over the years, Riyadh built up a significant cadre of Wahhabi-trained academics, preachers and teachers across the region. They act as “lobby groups agitating for greater Islamization, demanding the imposition of Shaira law, pushing for stricter controls of other faiths, and working behind the scenes to influence official policy and shape pubic opinion.” As a result, this “culture of intolerance, hate and violence” that permeates so much of the Middle East is now manifesting in Southeast Asia, with young Muslims from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Philippines gravitating to Syrian jihad. In the face of Saudi-sponsored proliferation of extremism, Ignatius predicts Southeast Asia would be the next jihadi battleground. Indeed Jakarta has already suffered IS and Al Qaeda attacks, and various Wahhabi sect jihadi groups now plague Southeast Asia.[6]
  3. 3. C de Waart; CdW Intelligence to Rent In Confidence 3The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see. –Winston Churchill Cees de waart: CdW Intelligence to Rent Page 3 of 10 28/06/2016 Will US continue to shelter the Saudi-Wahhabi nexus? Ironically, the Saudi-Wahhabi nexus is enabled and shielded by the US security umbrella with Washington purporting to be a leader of global counter-terrorism efforts. However, from the Asian perspective, Wahhabism is the root cause of terrorism in the West and now in Asia. With Washington’s support for the Saudi-Wahhabi nexus being partly accountable for this scourge, it has severely downgraded the legitimacy of US as a leader in counter-terrorism.[7] As Chellaney admonished in “Western Roots of anti-Western Terror”, America’s use of radical Islam as a weapon to topple regimes it dislikes in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and now Syria has introduced global jihad into the international community.[8] While a recent New York Times article discusses how “the world reaps what the Saudis sow” in violent jihad, US is also culpable in its support for the Saudi-Wahhabi nexus.[9] Singapore’s late Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew likewise criticized Washington’s half-baked counter- terrorism efforts of mainly using military force. “In killing the terrorists, you will only kill the worker bees. The queen bees are the preachers, who teach a deviant form of Islam in schools and Islamic centers, who capture and twist the minds of the young.”[10] In the meantime, Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton who ironically has lobbied to take guns away from American citizens, wants to increase arms supply to Saudi-backed jihadists in Syria and had sold a $29.4 billion arms package to Saudi Arabia in 2011 when she was Secretary of State.[11] This trend will likely continue if she becomes the next American president. [12] Tragically, the Saudis have used its fighter jets and bombs to destroy Yemen the past year, killing more than 6,000 people, with 3,000 being civilians, displaced 2.4 million, and created a vacuum that has enabled Al Qaeda to establish a statelet in the war-torn country. Much of Saudi weapons have also ended up in the arms cache of Al Qaeda and IS.[13] When it was discovered the US sold thousands of cluster bombs to Saudis that are banned in most of Europe and other countries, the embarrassed Obama administration put a halt to the sale.[14] In November 2015, US sold a new $1.29 billion arms package to Riyadh, including smart bombs such as the Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) kits so the Saudis can continue to bomb Yemeni civilians in a way that is perhaps more politically correct and palatable. In contrast to the US, EU is now pushing for an arms embargo on Saudi Arabia.[15] Moreover, US is supporting the Saudis’ agenda of turning Syria into an Islamic emirate—arming and funding groups such as Ahrar al Sham and Jaish al Islam that are basically the Syrian Taliban—just as it backed Afghanistan’s Taliban. Now that US is getting into the business of toppling secular and pluralistic governments and replacing them with Islamic emirates, Washington’s constant touting that Uncle Sam is the defender of democracy and freedom in a liberal world order no longer holds water. Reset of US anti-terror approach Asian states are now reaping the consequences of this reckless US policy. If Washington proclaims it is a leader of a rule-based liberal order, then it needs to demonstrate this by deeds and not words. To that end, US needs a reset in its counter-terrorism approach to target proliferation of Wahhabism rather than just dropping bombs. As Brahma Chellaney argued in “How to shut down the ‘jihad factories’”, if America is really serious about counter-terrorism, then it should stop enabling the Saudi-Wahhabi nexus, and dismantle the religious-industrial complex of Saudi-funded mosques and madrassas that serve as jihad factories producing suicide bombers from Africa to Europe and now Asia.[16] Moreover, Washington’s political establishment needs to come clean and declassify the 28 pages of the 9/11 Report. They also need to understand American soldiers are not cannon fodders for endless no-fly zones and regime change/nation-building adventurisms abroad, nor are they a mercenary force for the highest bidder from wealthy Arab Gulf donors to their non-profit organization.[17] A true
  4. 4. C de Waart; CdW Intelligence to Rent In Confidence 4The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see. –Winston Churchill Cees de waart: CdW Intelligence to Rent Page 4 of 10 28/06/2016 leader leads by example, not just dominate with military force. Hopefully, the next American president would know the difference. Creeping normalcy . . . ISW: ISIS-Linked Activity in Southeast Asia: April 22 to June 23, 2016 Expanding extremist reach . . . into the Malay-speaking world in SE Asia RSIS: Al-Fatihin: Islamic State’s First Malay Language Newspaper 
 Synopsis The so-called Islamic State (IS) has just released its first newspaper in the Malay Language, and declared in it a wilayah (province) in the Philippines. The publication of a Malay-language IS newspaper would have implications not only on Malay-speaking IS fighters in Iraq and Syria but also the Malay-speaking world in Southeast Asia. 
 ON 20 JUNE 2016, Furat Media – an IS-affiliated media agency – published the first edition of Al-Fatihin, a newspaper meant for speakers of the Malay Language who have migrated and joined the terrorist group, dedicated to the creation of Daulah Islamiyah (IS) in Southeast Asia. According to its tagline, “Surat Kabar Bagi Muhajirin Berbahasa Melayu Di Daulah Islamiyyah”, Al-Fatihin would serve the existing Southeast Asian “foreign fighters” who are mostly from Indonesia and Malaysia. Although the choice of spelling and vocabulary reveals that Al-Fatihin is written in Bahasa Indonesia, it is comprehensible to all those who speak various dialects and forms of the Malay language.
 The first edition of Al-Fatihin was well-timed to appear in the holy month of Ramadan, carrying a range of news and reports on the caliphate as well as features on religion. The 20-page edition focused heavily on the significance of Ramadan, jihad and the rituals of fasting. In fact, the first three pages contain advice from the Egyptian ideologue Abu Hamzah al-Muhajir, aka Abu Ayyub al-Masri, calling on IS fighters to continue their jihadist activities, search for martyrdom and kill and crucify the polytheists, disbelievers, oppressors and transgressors. The newspaper also carries a feature on a Syrian martyr Abu Bilal al-Himshi (dubbed a “Media Warrior”) and various news excerpts from Raqqa to the Philippines, information and statistics on military operations, a map of the world showing IS provinces, and zakat collection and distribution statistics in Syria.
 Implications of a Malay Language Newspaper
 Other than to serve the Malay-speaking readers in Syria and Iraq, the newspaper for “muhajirin berbahasa Melayu (Malay-speaking migrants)” could also serve the larger Malay-speaking audience in the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Thailand. With the exception of “Jayl al-Malahim” – an ISIS video depicting Indonesians and Malaysians burning their passports – IS articles and videos have largely been translated into Bahasa Indonesia and featured mostly Indonesians.
 Even Al-Fatahin’s twitter account posted content in Bahasa Indonesia from Indonesian versions of the A’maaq News Agency, IS announcements and Nashir (IS’ caliphate updates). Marketing Al-Fatihin as a Malay-language newspaper is a strategic move to reduce the Indonesian flavour of IS propaganda and thereby appeal to a larger Malay audience, uniting all Malay-speaking jihadists and IS supporters with a common language that is more accessible than Arabic.
 Invoking a broader Malay language and identity not only helps in disseminating IS propaganda, it also reinforces IS’ ideology and efforts to unite all jihadists. Al-Fatihin buttresses IS messages calling on militant groups in Indonesia and the Philippines to unite and pledge their allegiance to Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. These calls are often made in IS media such as the video production entitled “Bersatulah: Jangan Berpecah Belah” (Unite: Don’t be divided) released by al-Furat Media Foundation. In the latest video entitled “Al-Bunyan Al-Marsus” (A Solid Structure) released by IS on 22 June 2016, IS fighters from Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines called on all groups in Southeast Asia to unite.
 Al-Fatihin’s tagline drives the point that, no matter
  5. 5. C de Waart; CdW Intelligence to Rent In Confidence 5The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see. –Winston Churchill Cees de waart: CdW Intelligence to Rent Page 5 of 10 28/06/2016 the differences and nuances in language, identity and origins, Southeast Asian jihadists have a common logos and as such, all Malay-speaking jihadists should act as one. IS cleverly exploits the notion of Nusantara or archipelago used by Nadhlatul Ulama (in their version of “Islam Nusantara” – Islam in Indonesia), and radical and terrorist groups such as Darul Islam and Jemaah Islamiyah.
 Significance of Timing
 It is significant that there was no earlier attempt by Southeast Asian foreign fighters (who trained and fought during the Soviet-Afghan war) to publish a Malay newspaper or newsletter despite their intention to establish an Islamic state (Daulah Islamiyah) after their return. The publication of Al-Fatihin is possibly the prelude to the declaration of the Philippines as an IS ‘wilayah’.
 IS probably hoped that Southeast Asian jihadists in Syria, Iraq, and the Philippines, and their supporters all around the world, would see Al-Filibin (The Philippines) as a province of the far-flung self-declared caliphate. Publication of Al-Fatihin would also enable IS fighters and supporters in Southeast Asia to feel that they are part of the caliphate, especially when they receive special greetings and messages that begin with “O, my mujahid comrade”, and reading jihadist news from Southeast Asia as well as news from Baghdad, Mosul, Raqqa, Damascus, Khurasan and Bangladesh.
 As Benedict Anderson argued, in Imagined Communities, that nationalism was made possible with “print capitalism”, where books and media are printed in the vernacular instead of “exclusive script languages” such as Latin, Al-Fatihin serves that precise purpose, by using the Malay Language, and the conception of a Malay Nusantara to underline a common ideology and nationality.
 Conceiving the Caliphate
 The Al-Fatihin map showing the spread of IS territories worldwide helps readers see the far reaches of the caliphate from the Middle East and Africa to South, Central and Southeast Asia, even though IS does not administratively control most of these territories. Al-Fatihin provides a platform for Malay-speaking IS-affiliated jihadists to have a common identity and feel part of a community within a Daulah Islamiyah.
 This sense of identity and purpose may motivate IS supporters to act militantly as is happening in Southern Philippines and Poso. In the video “Al-Bunyan Al-Marsus”, Abu ‘Aun al-Malizi, a Malaysian IS fighter, called on jihadists in Southeast Asia who could not afford to make the journey to IS territories in the Middle East, to either migrate to the Philippines or to kill IS enemies wherever they may be found, even using vehicles to cause their
  6. 6. C de Waart; CdW Intelligence to Rent In Confidence 6The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see. –Winston Churchill Cees de waart: CdW Intelligence to Rent Page 6 of 10 28/06/2016 deaths. IS-related groups have to be neutralised or eliminated in Southeast Asia for Al- Fatihin to lose its potency and relevance, along with its plans for a caliphate. Islamic State officially creates province in the Philippines BY CALEB WEISS | June 24, 2016 After months of buildup, which included pledges of loyalty from various local groups, the Islamic State has officially created a province in the Philippines. A newly released video from the region, which was produced in the same style as all other Islamic State provinces, offered confirmation of the new province. The video begins by showing several “battalions” of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) pledging allegiance to the Islamic State. This includes the Abu Dujana Battalion, Abu Khubaib Battalion, Jundallah Battalion, and the Abu Sadr Battalion. These battalions joined others from ASG, including Jund al Tawhid, Ansar al Sharia, and Marakah al Ansar in pledging bayah to the Islamic State. Additionally, some of ASG’s leadership, including overall leader Isnilon Hapilon (who is shown in the video), have pledged to the jihadist group. Hapilon, a US-designated terrorist, was again confirmed as the leader of all of the Islamic State’s forces in the Philippines. In an April issue of the Islamic State’s weekly newsletter Al Naba, the jihadist group said that Hapilon, also known as Abu Abdullah al Filipini, had been appointed as emir. In a portion of the video featuring a Filipino fighter in Raqqah, Syria, he confirms the Al Naba report. Hapilon is the senior most figure to have defected to the Islamic State in the Philippines. The video also confirms that a formal leadership structure for the Islamic State has indeed been put into place, exemplifying its expansion in the country. This was also seen earlier this month in an infographic released by the ‘Amaq News Agency, one of the jihadist group’s news outlets. The infographic included several important facts from the Islamic State in the Philippines, including the number of groups that have pledged allegiance and where they operate. (See Threat Matrix report, Islamic State details activity in the Philippines.) While the infographic contains numbers from April 2015, it also notes the first official announcement of Filipino jihadist groups pledging allegiance to the Islamic State occurred in January 2016. Videos and reports of groups pledging bayah have emerged since 2014, shortly after Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State, claimed the creation of a caliphate. The video in January, however, was the first time the Islamic State publicly accepted these pledges. A month later, the Islamic State’s Furat media outlet released another video showing more groups pledging allegiance. These groups include the aforementioned battalions of ASG, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), Ansar Khilafah in the Philippines, the Islamic State in Lanao, Jamaat al Tawhid wal Jihad (a group formerly loyal to al Qaeda), and parts of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Their claimed areas of operation largely correspond with the reported areas of the aforementioned groups. This includes the southern areas of Basilan, South Cotabato, Sulu, Sarangani, Lanao del Sur, and the northern province of Isabela. Several of these groups, including Ansar Khilafah, the Islamic State in Lanao, and the Jamaat al Tawhid wal Jihad (JTJ) have publicized training camps in the region. Ansar Khilafah was the first to do so last December, while the latter two groups did so last month and in March, respectively. A video from JTJ’s training camp, the “Osama bin Laden training camp,” also publicized its loyalty to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. In addition to the pledges to the Islamic State in the months building up to yesterday’s video, the Islamic State has claimed several attacks in the Philippines in recent months. One of these attacks was featured in the video, which showed Islamic State fighters engaging in a firefight with Filipino security forces. Several vehicles and weapons are shown to have been captured by the jihadists. Additionally, the video pays tribute to several fighters who have been killed in clashes with the Filipino military. This includes Abu Khattab, a Moroccan bomb expert within ASG, who was killed in
  7. 7. C de Waart; CdW Intelligence to Rent In Confidence 7The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see. –Winston Churchill Cees de waart: CdW Intelligence to Rent Page 7 of 10 28/06/2016 April. While the video was made to announce a Philippines province, a good portion of the video was filmed in Syria. Indonesian, Malaysian, and Filipino fighters in Syria’s Raqqah province are shown discussing these pledges and encouraging others to follow suit in Southeast Asia. The three are later shown simultaneously beheading three Assad regime soldiers somewhere in Raqqah. The Islamic State has also inroads in the wider Southeast Asia region, an area that has historically featured al Qaeda activity. Jemaah Islamiyyah (JI), al Qaeda’s historical branch in Southeast Asia, has also suffered defections to the Islamic State. Shortly after Baghdadi’s announcement of the caliphate in 2014, Abu Bakar Bashir, the spiritual leader and co-founder of JI as well as the emir of its offshoot Jemaah Ansharut Tauhid, pledged allegiance to Baghdadi. However, Bashir’s two sons and several other leaders left and formed their own group, Jemaah Ansharusy Syariah. According to the Jakarta Post, more than 50 percent of Bashir’s followers abandoned him and joined Jemaah Ansharusy Syariah. It is directly part of al Qaeda’s global network now, according to its leader. (See LWJ report, Islamic State launches suicide assault in Indonesia’s capital.) Yet another group in region, Mujahideen Indonesion Timor (MIT), is also loyal to the Islamic State. Abu Warda Santoso, the MIT leader, swore allegiance to the Islamic State in 2014. His group was previously listed by the US as a terrorist group last year. Last month, the US Department of State added Santoso to its list of global terrorists. (See LWJ report, US adds emir of Mujahidin Indonesia Timur to list of global terrorists.) Regards Cees*** How Hybrid Warfare Could Change Asia What the future of warfare might look like in Asia. “Hybrid warfare”: Defense analysts have been increasingly vocal over the last few years in touting this as the next great phase of conflict. There is hardly a security studies journal or conference that passes by without a mention of the term. For all the jargon however, the concept is pretty simple – modern technology has made a new type of warfare possible, one where conventional tactics, irregular fighting, criminal racketeering, cyber attacks, propaganda, and even international law are tools to be readily exploited. While some find the term fancy and meaningless, it has gained more traction with recent conflicts in Syria and Ukraine, where actors like the Islamic State (ISIS) and Russia have employed a hybrid of hitherto distinct types of warfare under one strategic umbrella. Regardless of whether one agrees with the terminology and concedes that this is a “new” type of warfare, one thing is certain. Elements of combat that were previously considered disparate have now been pulled into a broader definition of warfare, under which it is recognized that a hacker, propagandist, or arms smuggler can be just as much a part of the war effort as a soldier. It has drastically changed how we view war, since states can now fight like non-state actors and vice versa. ISIS, for example, can fight in ways similar to a state (as seen in the fall of Ramadi) and Russia can employ asymmetric tactics usually used by non-state actors. While the discourse surrounding “hybrid warfare” has thus far emphasized – perhaps unfairly so – Western interests in global security, scholars and analysts have slowly but surely begun to shift their sights East. What they have found has not been pretty. Many of the conditions that breed hybrid threats are ripe for harvest in the Asian continent, with its ethnic conflicts, a vibrant tech industry, territorial disputes, and inconsistent rule of law. As security expert Douglas Ollivant pointed out recently “Burma [Myanmar], Thailand, Pakistan, or Chechnya might be the cradles of such groups.” However, there has been almost no attempt to understand how security and foreign policy in the Asia-Pacific will be affected by the emergence of hybrid wars, barring the South China Sea dispute.
  8. 8. C de Waart; CdW Intelligence to Rent In Confidence 8The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see. –Winston Churchill Cees de waart: CdW Intelligence to Rent Page 8 of 10 28/06/2016 States Using Non-State Actors A major hallmark of hybrid warfare is the manner in which non-state actors with state patronage, like Russian-backed separatists or the Iran-backed Hezbollah, have begun to utilize military capabilities that were traditionally attributed only to States. Instead of relying solely on irregular tactics, as insurgent groups have done in the past, they have surprised their adversaries with conventional arsenals like ballistic missiles and artillery rockets as well. One of Asia’s powder kegs — the India-Pakistan rivalry — is likely to be affected in several ways by this trend. India has long maintained that Pakistan arms and trains terror groups to stage attacks on Indian soil, as part of a “proxy war” strategy. These groups have not exhibited any conventional warfare capabilities yet, although it is inevitable that this will change once emerging technologies make it easier for small insurgent groups to wield State-like destructive power. If Russian or Iranian sponsored groups can do it, there is no reason to assume that Pakistan-backed ones will not follow suit soon. India will have to be ready for such an outcome. In fact, it is not just from Pakistan that India might face a hybrid threat. There have been several accusations made that the Naxal insurgency in the northeast of India receives aid from China, whose formidable capacity in hybrid warfare has been documented before. Both robotics and cyber attacks will play a key role in shaping the future of conflict, spheres in which China is among the best in the world. As these technologies get cheaper and easier to make, it is easy to envision a scenario where they fall into the hands of sponsored non-state actors. Nightmare scenarios like a cheaply made drone carrying a biologically lethal payload will only get closer to reality as the cost to buy or modify such “toys” becomes lower. None of this is as far-fetched as it sounds. South Asia has faced a hybrid threat before, even before the term was coined by Western theorists. The LTTE are in many ways an early example of a hybrid threat; it had state-like military capabilities by possessing an army, navy, and air force; it managed to use criminal enterprises to help sustain the insurgent movement; it even had a sophisticated propaganda network around the world. It took the Sri Lankan government decades to alter its own fighting style into a hybrid one as well, before the separatist group could be defeated. The very fact that conditions existed in South Asia for the emergence of such a group should alert observers that it could be duplicated in the future. Teasing the Threshold Asia is also likely to become more vulnerable from the emergence of hybrid warfare because of its territorial disputes. Russia’s use of hybrid war is a solid blueprint for the way in which a State can wage war without actually waging war. That is, it uses a spectrum of tactics to attack the adversary, but no single attack is severe or traceable enough for Russia to be considered a belligerent. International law offers a certain boundary that a State would have to cross for its actions to be deemed as an act of war. Hybrid warfare allows states to launch a multi-pronged strategy, where they can attack without quite crossing that threshold. By staying within this boundary, Russia has been able to wage war without any retaliation from NATO. A similar strategy could be magnified in Asia, where there is even less of a cooperative security framework than in Europe. Since the traditional definition of war is so outdated, it would be relatively easy for China or India to utilize the Russian model in order to interfere in the affairs of their smaller neighbors, knowing that there can be no legal or military response. Consider this example – there has been a lot of discussion recently on the rise of piracy in Southeast Asia. For how long will such actors remain apolitical? What would happen if a State like China decides to covertly arm and train pirate groups to harass the ships of its smaller neighbous, in order to legitimize an increased Chinese naval presence in the Indian Ocean? Such an act would be difficult to prove as crossing the threshold, but it would be an act of force nonetheless to pursue a military advantage. Given the staggering number of territorial disputes in the region, such tactics
  9. 9. C de Waart; CdW Intelligence to Rent In Confidence 9The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see. –Winston Churchill Cees de waart: CdW Intelligence to Rent Page 9 of 10 28/06/2016 might proliferate to smaller disputes as well, complicating what is already a continent in diplomatic tatters. Cyber Threats Another key component of hybrid warfare that will transform conflict in Asia is the way in which cyberspace has become an electronic counterpart of the physical battlefield. Cyber warfare is now relatively common even among States that are not at war, with hackers trying to one-up each other. Earlier this year, China even opened a “Cyber Warfare” branch, highlighting what a significant role the Chinese army have in mind for it. Because of maritime disputes in the South China Sea, Southeast Asia is now the most targeted region in the world by hackers. Most Asian nations have made little progress in taking up the issue of cyber warfare on a diplomatic level. There is no consensus on the appropriate response to a cyber attack, the responsibility of the State to deal with hackers, or even a legal framework that would set up acceptable boundaries. This short-sightedness on the part of Asian policymakers might lead to a dangerous threat in the future, as computer networks empower non-state actors to fight on a higher level. Given how computerized modern societies are, where data storage and daily transactions are made at an electronic level, it should be considered a major threat. The Future of Asia This is merely a small sample of how the emergence of hybrid warfare tactics could challenge existing diplomatic thinking in Asia. With non-state actors wielding more power than they ever did before, states would have to drastically review their security paradigms. The foreign policy hurdles may not be very different from what they are today, but the solutions are. As new fields emerge and individuals become even more powerful than the State, analysts and policymakers have a serious challenge ahead of them. Some may find the term “hybrid warfare” meaningless, but at the very least it demonstrates that Western thinkers have now understood how intertwined war is with a variety of other components. It demonstrates that they realize how the distinction between state and non-state threats, conventional war and unconventional war, will soon become redundant. Asia would do well to acknowledge this foresight. Nilanthan Niruthan is a defense analyst and writer currently involved with the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies, Colombo. He is the co-editor of three books on counterinsurgency in South Asia. C: do we remember, On January 1, 2007 the Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF) announced the imminent release of new computer software called "Mujahideen Secrets." According to the advertisement for the software (see below), it is "the first Islamic computer program for secure exchange [of information] on the Internet," and it provides users with "the five best encryption algorithms, and with symmetrical encryption keys (256 bit), asymmetrical encryption keys (2048 bit) and data compression [tools]." Or this one: from 2001. His face and his name are unknown outside central Asia. His origins, his age, even the spelling of his name are obscure. And the mission he undertook is so mysterious that most people in Pakistan are unaware that he was here at all. He has been described as the "Internet Mullah", or the "Rudolph Hess of the Taliban". His name is Mullah Abdul Wakil Muttawakil, and he is â“ or was â“ Afghanistan's Foreign Minister. We want to live a life like the Prophet lived 1,400 years ago," he once told a journalist. But for a medieval fundamentalist, he has shown amazingly bold,
  10. 10. C de Waart; CdW Intelligence to Rent In Confidence 10The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see. –Winston Churchill Cees de waart: CdW Intelligence to Rent Page 10 of 10 28/06/2016 21st centuries tendencies The most remarkable example came that summer, when Mullah Muttawakil made a proposal that within the Taliban was almost heretical that internet connections should be installed in all the Taliban ministries.