Thursday, October 8, 2015

Malaysia Eyes New Regional Facility to Counter Islamic State

Najib Razak image from article

Last week, Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak announced that the Southeast Asian state may soon establish a regional center to counter messaging from the Islamic State (IS).
Najib told the Leaders’ Summit on Countering ISIL and Violent Extremism at the United Nations on September 29 that Malaysia is eying the formation of a “regional, digital counter-messaging center” because Southeast Asia lacks such a facility. His remarks came after Malaysia became one of the newest members of the U.S.-led Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, joining Singapore as the only two ASEAN states in the grouping so far.
Specifics of the proposal still remain unclear. On October 2, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel told reporters that the stationing of a messaging center in Malaysia was an idea “under active consideration.” Russel later clarified that while Malaysia was a leading candidate to serve as host for such a regional hub, no final decision had been made.
Officials say the center would be similar to the one that the United States launched together with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in July this year.  ...

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