chapter  5
Al-Qaeda and Political Terrorism in Southeast Asia
Pages 19

Southeast Asia has long experienced domestic political violence in the form of communist insurgencies, regional separatism, and ethnoreligious strife. Generally, each group operated in isolation from the other. Perhaps the major exceptions were communist movements during the period when the Communist International (1919-43) was in business. This added the element of external state sponsorship to internationally linked movements seeking to overthrow the colonial state. But even in the case of communist insurgencies, such as in British Malaya and Burma, French Indochina, and the Philippines in the 1940s, there was little evidence of effective regional coordination. The threat that each of these groups posed to the state was easily contained. For example, with the exceptions of Indochina and East Timor, no other insurgency or ethnic separatist group has been successful.