Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Concern over radicalisation

Concern over radicalisation

Concern over radicalisation

110714_3
A Cham Muslim man enters a Phnom Penh mosque in March.

NGOs with direct ties to terrorist organisations in the Middle East had been using “massive donations” to encourage radicalisation in Cham Muslim communities, though with limited success, a United States embassy cable from last year alleges.

A cable released by WikiLeaks this week raised concerns that “very real” efforts had been made to perpetuate a terrorist safe haven in Cambodia following a 2002 to 2003 visit by “Bali bombing mastermind” Hambali to a Cham Muslim school in the Kingdom. It named the World Assembly for Muslim Youth and the Revival for Islamic Heritage as suspected terrorist organisations active in Cambodia.  

“This at-risk segment of the population is accepting help with essential services, educational aid and mosque construction from NGOs who have direct ties to tier 1 and tier 2 Terrorist Support Entities from the Middle East,” the cable, dated May 5, 2010, stated.

But just as endemic corruption was a factor that made the Kingdom conducive to extremist Islamic infiltration, it had also hampered the efforts NGOs with suspected extremist support to foster radicalisation, the cable stated.  

“Tales of infighting, corruption and ineptness have reportedly led to little progress in the way of radicalisation,” the cable reads.  “However, Cambodia’s known deep vulnerabilities, culture of corruption and limited ability to govern and maintain law and order make it susceptible to external influences that are using NGOs and massive donations as the vessel to disseminate their message to the Cham.”

Citing a series of surveys, the cable suggested that vulnerably to extremist Islamic radicalisation was low within Cham communities which saw religion “as a source of discipline, not radicalisation”. Cham represenatitves could not be reached.

MOST VIEWED

  • Temi tourism project approved by the CDC

    The $500.4 million Tourism, Ecological, Marine and International (Temi) tourism project has been approved by the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), according to a notice on its Facebook page on Monday. The project is part of Chinese-owned Union City Development Group Co Ltd’s (

  • Rainsy will return at ‘favourable time’

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy on Saturday suggested he would not return to Cambodia as he had previously promised, saying that like liberators King Father Norodom Sihanouk and Charles de Gaulle, he would only do so at a “favourable time”. “I will go back to Cambodia

  • US Embassy urged to stop ‘disrespecting sovereignty’

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation called on the US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Saturday to respect the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations after it called former opposition leader Kem Sokha “an innocent man” – a move deemed to be “disrespecting Cambodia’s

  • NagaWorld casino sees net profit of more than $390M last year

    Phnom Penh’s NagaWorld casino posted a 53 per cent net profit increase last year at $390.6 million, a sum which is almost equal to the combined net profit of all Cambodian commercial banks in 2017. NagaWorld’s parent company, NagaCorp Ltd, is listed on the Hong Kong