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Just sharing – Countering Daesh Extremism European and Asian Responses

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Beatrice Gorawantschy, Rohan Gunaratna, Megha Sarmah, Patrick Rueppel (eds.) (2016), Countering Daesh Extremism European and Asian Responses, Panorama: Insights into Asian and Eurapean Affairs, 2/2016, Singapore: Konrad Adeneur Stiftung-RSIS.


  • Preface
  • The Islamic State’s Eastward Expansion, Rohan Gunaratna
  • Countering Daesh Extremism in South Asia, Ajai Sahni
  • Challenges and Prospects for Daesh in Afghanistan and Its Relations
    with the Taliban, Hekmatullah Azamy
  • Evolving Wave of Terrorism and Emergence of Daesh in Pakistan, Khuram Iqbal
  • Daesh Threat in Bangladesh: An Overview, Iftekharul Bashar
  • Daesh and the Alchemy of Strategy: Southeast Asia Threat and Responses by the Region and ASEAN, Jolene Jerard
  • Daesh in Europe and Southeast Asia: An Indonesian Perspective, Badrus Sholeh
  • Countering the Threats of Daesh in Malaysia, Ahmad El-Muhammady
  • The Influence of Daesh in the Philippines, Vanessa Panes
  • Singapore’s Approach to Counter Terrorism and Extremism, Stefanie Kam
  • The EU and ASEAN Approaches in Fighting Terrorism: Collaboration
    or Cooperation?, Céline C. Cocq
  • Coordinated Counter Terrorism Responses by the European Union, Guenther Sablattnig
  • Daesh-Linked Activities and Motivations in Belgium, Didier Leroy
  • Implications of the Global Jihad in France, Yves Trotignon
  • Daesh Radicalization and Responses in Germany, Marwan Abou-Taam
  • Prevention Strategies to Counter Daesh Extremism in the
    United Kingdom, Anthony Glees
  • Turkey’s Struggle Against the Foreign Terrorist Fighters of Daesh
  • Haldun Yalçınkaya, Australia’s Experience of Daesh-Linked and Directed Extremism, Jacinta Carrol


Since June 2014, eliminating the global threat of Daesh has been a concern throughout the world. As Daesh continues to expand its presence to more countries and claims responsibility for an increased number of attacks, the need for a shared counterextremism strategy that includes significant internal and international cooperation, coupled with confidence-building tools, has become more apparent. The measures to be implemented must also include robust stabilization and combine diplomatic, political, security, and information-sharing activities.

Daesh’s approach of recruiting geographically dispersed fighters along with inciting lone-wolf attacks has become a pressing concern for European and Asian countries. As the nexus of extremism and terrorism is constantly evolving, counter-extremism strategies should focus on the root causes by countering Daesh’s methods as well as the factors that contribute to Daesh’s growth. The battle against Daesh recruitment can only be won by addressing local grievances along with engaging religious and community leaders. Since young people in particular are being recruited by Daesh, youth empowerment and community engagement programmes can play a big role in countering the propaganda of Daesh. Media literacy and religious literacy programmes need to be organized and counter-extremism policies must take into account the latest developments in imagery and technology. In addition, the facilitation networks of foreign terrorist fighters need to be interdicted.

In order to meet the multifaceted challenge of Daesh extremism, a multilayered and cooperative approach is required, ranging from legally binding instruments and intelligence sharing to multilateral institutions and regional frameworks. De-radicalization, rehabilitation, and re-integration programmes should be an important part of the counter-extremism strategy. It must be stressed that a “one size fits all” approach will not be effective, and that any rehabilitation programme must be tailored to the individual country’s conditions and cultures. There is no silver bullet to defeat every extremist group, but through nesting their efforts within a global framework rather than conducting them as an independent undertaking, countries can increase their chances of tackling this threat successfully.

Countries in Asia and Europe have not only committed to the global coalition in addressing the threat of Daesh but are also taking numerous steps to counter its ambition and claims to legitimacy. Europe has seen various attacks in Paris, Nice and Brussels over the past year. Daesh has also made gradual inroads into Asia by founding a Malay-speaking combat unit in Syria, affiliating with local extremist groups, re-activating old Al-Qaeda-linked networks and carrying out attacks in countries like Indonesia and Bangladesh. It has therefore become imperative to bring together experts from both regions to discuss these commonly faced challenges and to find a joint strategy to counter Daesh extremism.

This issue of Panorama: Insights into Asian and European Affairs will analyse recent developments concerning Daesh extremism and their implications on societies in Asia and Europe. The papers share and analyse current and possible future threats, identify the target groups vulnerable to extreme militant ideology and examine the various recruitment channels. The counter-measures and de-radicalization and rehabilitation efforts adopted by various governments have also been highlighted. Special attention was given to Daesh-linked activities in the respective countries, reactions by the local Muslim communities, and possible future developments as well as responses.

In order to defeat Daesh’s efforts in seeking more innovative and unconventional means to spread extremism, we need to find common lines in strategy and policy and promote enhanced collaboration. With the policies and recommendations presented in this publication as well as inputs from our annual Asia-Europe Counter-Terrorism Dialogue, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung and the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological  University hope to contribute to fostering more cooperation between Asia and Europe to counter this global threat.

Dr. Beatrice Gorawantschy, Director, Political Dialogue Asia and the Pacific, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung

Rohan Gunaratna, Ph.D. (St Andrews) Professor of Security Studies, Head, International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore



About Muhammad Haniff Hassan

Muhammad Haniff Bin Hassan is a Fellow. He holds a PhD and M.Sc. in Strategic Studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (previously known as the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies), Nanyang Technological University. He received his early education in Aljunied Islamic School. He then continued his tertiary education at the Faculty of Islamic Studies, National University of Malaysia, with honours in Syar`iah and Civil law. Mr. Haniff is also active in social activities as a member of the Islamic Religious Council Appeal Board, HSBC Insurance Islamic Advisory Board from 2000 to 2014, Association of Islamic Religious Teachers and Scholars of Singapore (PERGAS) and Management Committee of Al-Irsyad Islamic School. He writes extensively in Berita Harian (a local Malay newspaper) and has also published articles in The Straits Times. He has published six books in his name, co-authored a monograph and helped publish two books for PERGAS and the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore. His personal website in Malay is at


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