ASSESSMENTS

Malaysia Faces an Unfamiliar Threat

MIN READJun 2, 2017 | 09:35 GMT

The scene after a hand grenade was thrown at a restaurant in Malaysia's central Selangor state in June 2016.
In Southeast Asia, the jihadist threat has centered on the Philippines and on Indonesia, rather than on Malaysia. But that doesn't mean the country is safe.

(MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images)

In Southeast Asia, the jihadist threat has centered on the Philippines and on Indonesia. Nearby Malaysia, on the other hand, hasn't had the same problems with extremist attacks. The majority-Muslim country has served as a logistics hub and recruiting center for various extremist groups operating in the Philippines, and a steady stream of Malaysians have been turned back on their way to fight with the Islamic State in Syria. Over the past few years, moreover, authorities have uncovered dozens of plots in Malaysia, suggesting the country is home to an active network of radicalized jihadists. But it has yet to experience the kinds of violent attacks that periodically rock its neighboring states....

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