This thesis attempts to show that there are patterns to the behavior of Islamist groups that eventually resort to separatist violence against the state. The goal of the thesis is to create a framework illustrating certain indicators, or signs, that may indicate if or when acts of violence against the state will take place. The primary audience for the framework are military regional affairs officers (RAO). Today, Islamic separatist violence is an ongoing phenomenon in several regions of the world and can have severe security and humanitarian implications that affect the entire region. RAOs are particularly concerned about the possible international repercussions: military and political involvement from nearby states, instigation of similar secessionist movements in neighboring states, or the creation of international refugees. This thesis reviews the popular literature on ethnic, separatist, and religious violence and draws on the potential indicators of violence described in the literature. The relevance of each indicator is validated through two case studies involving Islamic separatist movements: the Filipino Muslims in the Southern Philippines and the Malay Muslims in Southern Thailand.
Piombo, Jessica Vu, Tuong
Naval Postgraduate School (U.S.)
National Security Affairs
Naval Postgraduate School
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