Photo: Vilde Skorpen Wikan.Photo: Vilde Skorpen Wikan

State Secretary Laila Bokhari visits Southeast-Asia

During her visit to Singapore, State Secretary Laila Bokhari held an address at the tenth annual Terrorism Analyst Training Course on 16 January held by the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS).

Bokhari is visiting Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia to learn about the multidimensional and extensive work undertaken to prevent radicalization and terrorism in the region.

“Our efforts must be based on a broad analytical understanding of terrorism and its root causes,” said Bokhari. She was joined by the other speakers in her call for strengthening international capacity building and intelligence sharing and placing further emphasis on the role that civil society plays in preventing radicalization.

“Governments need to work closely with other groups, including youth, women and civil society in order to succeed,” she said.

Key elements defining and influencing the current threats posed by international terrorism were outlined during the welcome address held by the head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research at RSIS Dr. Rohan Gunaratna,

Dr. Gunaratna noted the potential networked expansion of ISIS following diminished territorial control, the shrinking of space due to increasing public access to communications technology, the global decentralization of power and the challenges posed by failed states, and the rise of anti-Muslim sentiment in many areas of the world.

As with Bokhari, Gunaratna was especially concerned with the importance of research and analysis in order to better understand and combat the root causes of terrorism and violent religious extremism.

But Bokhari also emphasized the important role of top-level government effort at the domestic, regional and international level.

“Globally,” she said, “countries should come together and work collectively to counter terrorism and preventing violent extremism.”

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