Military measures alone will not reduce the risk of Abu Sayyaf kidnappings or terrorist transit in the Sulu and Sulawesi Seas. Regional initiatives such as the Trilateral Maritime Patrol (TMP) are useful for strengthening cooperation among the Indonesian, Malaysian and Philippine militaries but they are unlikely to have much impact on curbing violent extremism. The trilateral countries should focus more on analysing ASG networks in Sulu and Sabah, strengthening law enforcement and improving the sharing of information, especially from debriefings of extremist suspects.

Protecting the Sulu-Sulawesi Seas from Abu Sayyaf Attacks, the latest report from the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC), examines the pattern of ASG kidnappings before, during and after the Marawi siege and the resulting regional response.

Read it here