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SE Asia's terror crackdown

Philippine soldiers
The Philippines says the nation is stepping up its campaign against the Abu Sayyaf militant group to completely wipe it out within this year  

July 2001 -- Malaysian police arrest 15 Indonesian and Malaysian members of an Islamic missionary group. They are suspected of gunrunning to Ambon in Indonesia's eastern Moluccas Islands, where thousands have been killed in more than two years of religious clashes.

August 2001 -- Malaysian police arrest 10 men who they say are members of Kumpulan Mujahidin Malaysia (KMM), a previously unknown Afghan-trained Islamic group suspected of involvement in robbery, murder and other crimes in Malaysia and other countries.

September 2001 -- Singapore's Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew tells Malaysian legislators of his concern that Muslim extremist groups are taking root in the region.

September 2001 -- Indonesian police arrest two Malaysian nationals on suspicion of having links to KMM and bombing incidents in Indonesia.

October 2001 -- Malaysian police arrest six men, most of them teachers at Islamic schools, under a tough security law.

All men are suspected of belonging to an Afghan-inspired militant group. But the nation's main Muslim opposition party says the arrest is a political ploy by the government aimed at seeking favor with Washington.

November 2001 -- Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo secures about $100 million in military assistance from the U.S.

December 2001 -- Malaysia's High Court finds 19 members of a little-known Muslim sect guilty of armed rebellion. The leader of the Al-Ma'unah cult, Mohamed Amin Razali, and his followers were captured after a shootout following a massive arms heist at two army camps in 2000.

December 2001 -- The Philippines arrest a Jordanian for illegal possession of explosives and suspected links with Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda group.

The Philippine National Police say in a statement the man was arrested in Balanga City in Bataan province and was "presently undergoing further investigation to verify his suspected links with Middle Eastern terrorist organizations."

December 2001 -- The Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia draft an accord to share intelligence, fight terrorism and combat border crime.

January 2002 -- The chairman of Indonesia's top assembly says there is no evidence the al Qaeda network has operated in the country.

His comments are at odds with Indonesia's intelligence chief who said in December 2001 that the al Qaeda network once had a presence in the Poso area of Sulawesi island -- the scene of recent clashes between Muslims and Christians -- but they were all gone.

January 2002 -- Malaysian police arrest 13 militants with possible link to Osama bin Laden.

January 2002 -- Singapore says it has broken up a network of militants targeting the U.S. embassy and American businesses after arresting 15 people with suspected links to al Qaeda group.

January 2002 -- An advance team of 25 U.S. Special Forces troops arrive in the southern Philippines, the first element of a joint U.S.-Philippine effort to rout out the extremist Muslim guerrilla group Abu Sayyaf.




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