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A Handbook of Terrorism and Insurgency in Southeast Asia

A Handbook of Terrorism and Insurgency in Southeast Asia

Elgar original reference

Edited by Andrew T.H. Tan

This timely and significant book seeks to explain the deep-seated complexities of terrorism and insurgency in Southeast Asia. In the aftermath of 9/11, this region has been designated by the United States to be the ‘second front’ in the war on terrorism. Yet despite the emergence of this ‘new’ global terrorism, the authors argue that armed rebellion in Southeast Asia is a phenomenon that predates Al Qaeda and the global Jihadist movement and that much can be learned from the motivations behind it.

Chapter 2: Setting the Post 9/11 Context: The Emergence of Postmodern Terrorism

Andrew T.H. Tan

Subjects: asian studies, asian development, development studies, asian development, development economics, economics and finance, development economics, politics and public policy, terrorism and security


Andrew T.H. Tan The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, and the Pentagon in Washington, on 11 September 2001 are clearly a watershed, marking the emergence of the new postmodern terrorism. The attacks shocked not just the United States but the entire world; 9/11 had far-reaching implications for future security. The targets, the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, guaranteed the widest possible publicity for the perpetuators, as both represented American prestige as well as economic and military power. The attacks also sent shock waves through the US and world economies, as New York is the financial capital of the world’s largest economy. The World Trade Center was also the headquarters of many major American financial powerhouses. More significantly, with casualties running into many thousands, it is the first true mass casualty terrorist act in modern times.1 Prior to this attack, the worst terrorist attack was the one on an Abadan cinema in 1979 that killed more than 400 people. The Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 killed 168 people, the sixth most lethal terrorist attack.2 What security analysts had been predicting for years, that is, the perpetration of a terrorist act causing massive casualties running into thousands or tens of thousands, has finally come true.3 A brave new world of postmodern (or ‘new’) terrorism has dawned. 9/11 also breached an unseen threshold. It has demonstrated that such massive acts of terror can be successfully carried out even in the most powerful state in the world....

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