Vietnam names Islamic extremism among terrorism risks

By Gia Chinh   February 24, 2022 | 05:00 am PT
Vietnam names Islamic extremism among terrorism risks
Hundreds of armed police stage an anti-terror drill in HCMC, December 15, 2019. Photo by VnExpress
Islamic extremism and weapons trafficking were among six international terrorism risks named by Vietnam's Ministry of Public Security at a conference Wednesday.

Addressing the international anti-terrorism cooperation conference, Dinh Viet Dung, deputy head of the Department of Homeland Security, said terrorists and terrorist organizations may choose Vietnam either as a refuge or a transition hub for a third location to evade authorities.

Secondly, the spread of Islamic extremism, including member recruitment, calls for sponsorships and instructions on making weapons and explosives also poses a risk for Vietnam.

"The illegal sale, use and storage of explosive materials and supporting tools for explosive precursors lead to the creation of trafficking routes to Vietnam. It is an opportunity for terrorists to send weapons and explosives to Vietnam," Dung said, highlighting the third risk.

While Vietnam believes it has not detected the existence of international terrorist organizations in the country, there are certain Vietnamese revolutionary organizations that are always looking for ways to cause damage. Therefore, there is a fourth risk of these organizations cooperating with international terrorists who enter Vietnam, Dung added.

The fifth risk is of Vietnamese citizens becoming international terrorists, Dung said, citing the example Vietnamese authorities detecting three foreigners of Vietnamese origin who'd joined international terrorist organizations. Such people may be found among those who have either returned to Vietnam or have relatives living in the country, he said.

"There are tens of thousands of Vietnamese living in areas with active terrorist organizations like the Middle East, North Africa or South Africa. There’s also the possibility of these people being recruited by terrorist organizations to return to Vietnam and perform terrorist acts," Dung said.

The final risk he mentioned was that of sponsors of terrorism with ties to foreign organizations and individuals being based in Vietnam.

Bevan Moroney, a representative of the Australian Federal Police, said that while Vietnam hasn't detected the presence of international terrorist organizations, anti-terrorism collaboration was necessary, as it was the only way to fight terrorism effectively.

Countries should actively share their intelligence resources, while not infringing on national interests, in the effort to fight terrorism, he said.

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