The Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan could lead to increased terrorism in South East Asia, Singapore’s Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said on Friday, warning that the war-ravaged country might become a safe haven for radical training of potential terrorists from the region, including from the city-state, and access to weapons.
The minister said that this fear is because Afghanistan had, under the previous Taliban regime, provided a safe haven for potential terrorists from South East Asia, including from Singapore.
“If you ask what would-be terrorists need or what helps would-be terrorists go out and do bad things: A safe haven, a place where they can train, a place where their minds can be hardened and radicalised even more,” the Channel News Asia quoted the Indian-origin minister as saying.
“And previously, what happened with ISIS and Al-Qaeda was that there were such safe havens. Afghanistan provided a safe haven for training persons from South East Asia, including from Singapore; and it provided a safe haven for training, access to weapons, people become hardened because there’s training on fighting, and that makes it very dangerous,” the minister said.
“Will that happen again? A lot of people fear that. I fear that that might happen again. So yes, I think the prospect of increased terrorism in the region, I think many security agencies and serious people are concerned about it,” Shanmugam said.