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Korea needs anti-terrorism act to protect citizens from IS

Korea needs anti-terrorism act to protect citizens from IS

Posted January. 22, 2015 06:57,   


Police have tentatively concluded that an 18-year-old Korean surnamed Kim who went missing in a Turkish town bordering Syria sneaked into Syria voluntarily. “Many evidences have been found that Kim showed his interest in Islamic State, an extremist Islamist militant group. However, it still remains unclear whether he actually joined the group or not,” said the police. Based on the websites and social networks that Kim had accessed, it is highly likely for the Korean teenager to enter Syria to join IS. Young Koreans are not an exception to the radical Islamic group, which vigorously attracts new recruits around the world.

The IS has been luring the youth from various nations to the terrorism and commit anti-humanitarian crime including beheading of captives. The Islamic extremist group has attracted 15,000 young men from 82 nations by posting baits on Internet or SNS, such as a monthly wage of 1,000 dollars and setting up with a girlfriend. There may be more "lone wolves" in Korea who have complaints against the society and voluntarily join the terrorist group like Kim. It is urgent to set up a countermeasure to block access of Koreans to IS-related websites. As it is not possible to shut off access to a website without legal basis, it is more urgent to pass the anti-terrorism bill that has been pending in the National Assembly.

The IS released a video footage on Monday, making a threat to kill two Japanese captives held hostage unless the Japanese government pays ransom of 200 million U.S. dollars within three days. It is unprecedented for the militant group to make a threat with Asians held hostage. If the group kills innocent Japanese captives, it would spark uproar from the international community.

The Korean government is known to provide 1.2 million dollars for Iraqi refugees as a humanitarian aid at the request from the U.S. to support its attack against the radical Islamic militant group in September 2014. Although it was indirect support, it is hard to rule out a possibility that the militant group considers Korea and its citizens as target of terrorist attacks. The government must be on high alert and thoroughly prepared against terrorist attempts by various terrorist groups including the IS.