Although the media has extensively covered the Burmese Army’s expulsion of Muslim Rohingya people from Rakhine Province in Myanmar — and although no one is recommending the horrors of murder or mass expulsions — little attention has been paid to Rohingya ties to international Islamic terrorism.
Aided by foreign terrorist networks in Pakistan and support from Rohingya exiles in Arab Gulf States, Myanmar’s Islamists and their foreign backers ultimately may want to establish a sharia state in Rakhine.
Approximately 1.1 million Rohingya live in Rakhine, a coastal province in Myanmar (Burma). Almost all are Muslim; their language closely resembles Bengali, the tongue of Bangladesh, to their north. Some Rohingya have lived in Rakhine since the 15th century. Most, however, trace their residency in Myanmar to the late 19th century, as descendants of Muslim Bengalis who were moved there by British colonial decree.
On August 25, 2017, the Burmese military launched what human rights organizations have called an “ethnic cleansing” campaign — something Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi has denied — against Rohingya Muslims in northern Rakhine, a week after Muslim rebels attacked a military base, police barracks, and border guard posts, killing at least 71 people. The attackers were members of the Islamist Arakan Rohingya Salvation Group (ARSA). Some of these operatives likely received training in terrorist camps in Pakistan and Bangladesh.