SINGAPORE, June 3 (Xinhua) -- Terrorism has been posing a major threat to world peace and stability in recent years and a comprehensive approach is needed to tackle it considering the new tactics that terrorists are employing.
The above view was widely shared by senior defense officials, diplomats and experts attending discussion sessions of the 17th Shangri-La Dialogue which concluded here on Sunday.
NEW TACTICS EMPLOYED BY TERRORISTS
Citing the recent terror attacks in Indonesia and last year's terror attack in the southern Philippine city Malawi, participants to the discussion panels said terrorism has put on a new face by changing tactics in staging attacks, including recruiting women and children as suicide bombers, driving cars to hit pedestrians and taking advantage of social media networks to promote terrorism, among others.
Indonesia experienced a spate of deadly terror attacks in May, which came days before the start of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.
On May 13, six members from a family, in well-planned and coordinated attacks, detonated bombs in three churches in Surabaya, East Java, killing at least l8 people, including the attackers, and injuring more than 40 others.
On the following day, a family of five on two motorbikes rode to a police checkpoint at Surabaya's police headquarters and detonated bombs, killing four members of the family and injuring four police officers and six civilians as well.
Striking the three churches in Surabaya, the father of a six-member family went after one, his teenage sons went after another, and his wife and two young daughters blew themselves up at the third.
Experts say the London Bridge terror attack last year in which a van was deliberately driven into pedestrians is a new style of attack, with a small scale and easy for deranged individuals to carry out on their own without advanced planning or assistance from an outside group like IS.
COMPREHENSIVE APPROACH CALLED FOR TO DEAL WITH TERRORISM
Participants to the discussion sessions said a comprehensive approach is a must to fight terrorism now, including addressing root causes, enhancing cooperation and coordination, sharing intelligence information, using military forces, reducing poverty among women and children and creating jobs for the young generation, among others.
Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu called for solving root causes of terrorism in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, through identifying those who have returned home after fighting together with terrorist groups, following and tracking the funds of terrorists and potential terrorists as well as destroying their networks including social media networks.
Indonesia has recently revised the anti-terrorism bill to include the military's strength in fighting alarming terrorism, the Indonesian defense minister said.
Singaporean Minister for Defense Ng Eng Hen said his country is sparing no efforts in pushing for intelligence and military exchanges against terrorism.
"Singapore has proposed the 'Resilience, Response, and Recovery' framework against terrorism," the minister said.
Singapore is also working hard to beef up intelligence sharing between the countries concerned and will also host a Track 1.5 Counter-Terrorism Symposium in October.
Citing the terrorist attack in southern Philippine city Malawi last year, Delfin Lorenzana, secretary of the National Defense of the Philippines said, "We must develop capabilities against the increasing lethality available to terrorist groups and the tactical advantages offered by the urban setting. The cornerstone to this is having a rapidly deployable combined military force that is trained on urban warfare."
"Special forces with hostage-rescue capabilities will enable us to launch rescue efforts and save more lives," he said.
For her part, German Minister of Defence Ursula von der Leyen said fighting terrorists who use diverse and hybrid means to stage attacks requires a "hybrid defence."
"We must intensely coordinate our national instruments of law enforcement, diplomacy, economy, development policy and the military, and then apply a well-tailored and targeted mix of measures."
Since its launch in 2002 by the British think tank International Institute for Strategic Studies and the Singaporean government, Shangri-La Dialogue has been held annually as an Asian security forum.