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Thread: Mainly terrorism in Indonesia: catch all

  1. #61
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    Allah willing, Indonesia may one day become an egalitarian society
    Tom Allard, Sydney Morning Herald, Jan 30, 2012.

    For a self-styled non-practising atheist, I was surprised to find one of the great pleasures of living in Jakarta was the call to prayer.

    Like most homes in the city, mine was just 100 metres or so from the local mosque, a labyrinthine whitewashed building with a towering minaret where the muezzin sings praises to Allah five times a day.

    Even at 4.30am, the smooth and melodious voice of Tata, the mosque's main singer, enchants, wafting across the warm tropical pre-dawn to herald the new day.

    The chattering congregations for Friday prayers and the quiet meditations of business owners, workers and street vendors as they pause for the salat has endeared me to a faith that is too often maligned.

    Most of all though, I have been impressed and inspired by the programs and projects run by worshippers to help the poor.
    Allah willing, Indonesia may one day become an egalitarian society - Sydney Morning Herald - Jan 30, 2012

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    In Indonesia Chinese Wary of Standing Out Too Much
    Desiree Tay, Straits Times Indonesia, Jan 28, 2012.

    Glodok was once the vibrant heart of this capital city’s Chinese community. Yet, a full decade since Chinese New Year became a public holiday in Indonesia, Jakarta’s historic Chinatown is a faint shadow of its once-bustling self.

    ...

    From 1966 to 1998, the Chinese language and many expressions of Chinese identity were driven underground as the Suharto government, driven in part by fears of communist China, pushed its policy of assimilation hard. The teaching of Chinese and use of Chinese script in public were banned, and Chinese Indonesians were urged to take on Indonesian-sounding names.

    ...

    Medical hall worker Zhu Qiu Mei, 58, has lived in Glodok for more than 20 years, since her family moved from Palembang.

    Asked about the muted Chinese New Year celebrations, she responds with two words: “Si chen” (dead city).

    This sentiment is echoed by other Chinese Indonesians in the area. The turning point for them was 1998.

    In May that year, political turmoil sparked by the Asian financial crisis saw mobs of rioters take to the streets in parts of Jakarta, targeting businesses and properties owned by ethnic Chinese.

    Chinatown was particularly badly affected. Several buildings were burnt and scores lost their lives. Thousands of Chinese Indonesians fled the only country many had known to be home.
    In Indonesia, Chinese Wary of Standing Out Too Much - Jakarta Globe - Jan 29, 2012.

    ---

    Indonesian Christians Protest Over Intimidation

    Indonesian Christians held a prayer vigil in Jakarta on Sunday urging President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to re-open their church and stop intimidation by Muslim hardliners.

    About 200 people, mostly members of the Taman Yasmin Indonesian Christian Church, prayed and sang hymns outside the state palace.

    “We hope the president will protect us from harassment by radical groups and re-open the church which is legally ours so we can conduct worship,” the group’s spokeswoman Dwiati Novita Rini told AFP.

    The Christians have been forced to hold services on the pavement outside their church in Bogor city, south of Jakarta, after its permit was revoked in 2008, Rini said.

    “But the Supreme Court overturned the decision in December 2010 and ordered for the church to be re-opened. The Bogor city administration however refused to comply,” she added.
    Indonesian Christians Protest Over Intimidation - Jakarta Globe - Jan 29, 2012.

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    Default Indonesian police kill 5 terrorists

    http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/...li-raid/505683

    Hariadi said that police suspected the group was plotting a robbery to finance a terrorism act. Police, the spokesman said, also confiscated firearms and several rounds of ammunition from both locations but declined to divulge further details. “All information will be revealed [on Monday morning],” he said.
    Supports the trend of the growing convergence between criminality and terrorism, especially since other sources of funding for these clowns have been cut off by good police work. Admittedly terrorists have used crime since the beginning of crime to fund their activities, but the Islamist groups were fairly funded by wealthy donors from the Middle East in recent years, so hopefully this is a positive trend.

    http://news.yahoo.com/indonesia-poli...004247418.html

    Two FN-45 rifles and masks were seized from the scene, Amar said. He said the men had been planning to rob a currency exchange, a jewelry shop and a cafe near Kuta and Jimbaran, two of the Bali beaches most popular with tourists.
    Amar said the suspects killed Sunday were allegedly part of a terror group wanted for a series of armed robberies in Medan, the capital city of North Sumatra province in 2010. Police are investigating whether the suspects were connected to Jemaah Islamiyah or another larger terror group.

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    ICG, 16 Jul 12: How Indonesian Extremists Regroup
    The threat of extremist violence in Indonesia is not over, even though the last two years have seen major successes in breaking up extremist networks. One by one, men on the police most-wanted list have been tracked down, arrested, tried and imprisoned. The police have been good, but they have also been lucky. The would-be terrorists have been poorly trained, poorly disciplined and careless. The last major attack in Jakarta was in 2009, and the total number of people killed by terrorists in 2011 was five: three police and two of their own suicide bombers. A familiar sense of complacency has set in that the problem is largely over.

    This report shows, however, that even with so many strikes against them, extremists have been able to regroup under pressure and plot new operations, often drawing on friends in prison. A highly-skilled leader with more patience than jihadis have shown to date might still be able to pull a group together and build it up without detection; certainly the determination to try has not faded. The report also shows how adversity has brought most jihadi groups into contact with one another, in a way that undercuts some of the progress made by the police in breaking up individual cells.

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    Default Indonesia: Suspects planned attack on U.S. Embassy

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-...n-u.s-embassy/

    He said the suspects belonged to a new group called the Harakah Sunni for Indonesian Society, or HASMI.

    "From evidence found at the scene, we believe that this group was well prepared for serious terror attacks," Alius said.
    Sticking with the theme of trends, what we seem to be seeing in Indonesia is the result of effective security operations that forces an enduring threat to continuously morph into new terrorist cells and organizations. Defeat of the idea and the strategic logic of terrorism is no where in sight. The terrorists like most adversaries have a political objective that won't be countered by population centric operations that focus on economic development and the rule of law. It may be we just have to accept this as the new norm until their is (if there is) an evolution in their underlying ideology and political goals. I think that means our security forces (the US and all its partners) need to focus our main effort on intelligence and disruption from a security aspect. Individual governments will have to wage the political competition within in their own borders.

    Last month, police arrested 10 Islamist militants and seized a dozen homemade bombs from a group suspected of planning suicide attacks against security forces and plotting to blow up the Parliament building. The alleged bomb maker turned himself in to police while wearing an empty suicide vest.

    Recent terror attacks in the country have been carried out by individuals or small groups and have targeted security forces and local "infidels" instead of Westerners, with less deadly results. The arrests announced Saturday appear to be the first in recent years to involve a group that allegedly planned to target foreign facilities.
    Different groups experimenting with different approaches to achieve a common political objective.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    Sticking with the theme of trends, what we seem to be seeing in Indonesia is the result of effective security operations that forces an enduring threat to continuously morph into new terrorist cells and organizations. Defeat of the idea and the strategic logic of terrorism is no where in sight. The terrorists like most adversaries have a political objective that won't be countered by population centric operations that focus on economic development and the rule of law. It may be we just have to accept this as the new norm until their is (if there is) an evolution in their underlying ideology and political goals. I think that means our security forces (the US and all its partners) need to focus our main effort on intelligence and disruption from a security aspect. Individual governments will have to wage the political competition within in their own borders.
    Actually the idea and the strategic logic of terrorism have been significantly challenged, mainly through continued success in avoiding further sectarian conflict in Sulawesi, Maluku, etc. Those conflicts have long been the motivator that links the radical core to a broader audience and gives them recruits and credibility. That core is still there, and probably will be for some time, but without local sectarian conflict they become increasingly isolated from the community and have a harder time attracting recruits and resources. The radical narrative coming out of the Middle East doesn't have a broad enough appeal in Indonesia to generate much active public support, they need local issues, and increasingly they haven't got them.
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

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    Posted by Dayuhan,

    Actually the idea and the strategic logic of terrorism have been significantly challenged, mainly through continued success in avoiding further sectarian conflict in Sulawesi, Maluku, etc. Those conflicts have long been the motivator that links the radical core to a broader audience and gives them recruits and credibility. That core is still there, and probably will be for some time, but without local sectarian conflict they become increasingly isolated from the community and have a harder time attracting recruits and resources. The radical narrative coming out of the Middle East doesn't have a broad enough appeal in Indonesia to generate much active public support, they need local issues, and increasingly they haven't got them.
    What I wrote is the defeat of the idea and the strategic logic of terrorism is no where in sight. That argument stands, just because they're not gaining traction doesn't mean "their" strategic logic is going to change, they will continue to use the tactic to pursue their strategic ends. I agree one of their goals is to foment ethnic strife, which they were successful doing in the past. Hopefully their society remains resilient to those provocations, but regardless a significant core of true believers are not going to stop using terrorism among other tactics. I agree they have a much hard path to go down than extremists in S. Asia and the Middle East.

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    http://www.boston.com/news/world/asi...VfP/story.html

    Indonesian police kill alleged militant in raid

    National police spokesman Brig. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar said the two suspects were among fugitives wanted for the assassination of two police officers who were killed last month while investigating terrorist activities in the area.

    The two men resisted arrest by throwing homemade bombs toward security forces during the raid at a house in Kayamaya village in Poso district, Amar said.
    They fight with the same tenacity their brothers in the ME do, so much for the argument they're not as susceptible to radicalization.

    Poso was a flashpoint for violence between Christians and Muslims that left more than 1,000 people dead in 2001 and 2002. Authorities believe the district is now a terrorist hotbed.
    They have no qualms about killing those from other ethnic groups, and creating communal strife is still part of their strategy, this wasn't a flash in the pan.

    http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/public...273537D1775%7D

    Authorities early Sept discovered new Islamist militant group in Jakarta, with mission to attack potential targets including police stations, govt officials and Buddhists, the latter over Myanmar’s treatment of Muslim Rohingya people: 8 Sept blast injured 6 including 1 militant in Depok near Jakarta; 1 accomplice surrendered 9 Sept, 2 suspects arrested. Police 22-23 Sept arrested 10 suspected terrorists in Solo for planning attack on parliament, 1 Sept arrested member of group behind Aug attacks on police. Following Aug attacks by Sunni mob on Shiites in Madura, E Java, Shiite organisations rejected govt’s plan to relocate Shiite community to avoid further sectarian violence; Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali 6 Sept proposed Sunni-Shiite dialogue. Demonstrations against anti-Islam film 17 Sept turned violent in front of U.S. embassy; protests in Medan led U.S. to temporarily shut down consulate. In Papua police 2-3 Sept arrested some 25 Free Papua Movement (OPM) members including leader Danny Kogoya for alleged involvement in Aug 2011, May 2012 shootings.
    The extremists are persistently seeking opportunities to exploit, the latest being the Burmese attacks on the Rohingya people. This will be used as justification to attack Buddhists in yet another attempt to mobilize Muslims to arms. I do agree that the vast majority of Indonesian muslims do not support this, but Indonesia is the world's largest Muslim nation but the 3-7% that are estimated to support these radical views still equates to tens of thousands. Of those a much smaller percentage will be motivated to participate in violent acts, but is still signficant.

  9. #69
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Acceptable to the public enables CT?

    An article by an Indian friend, on a quite different topic, has this aspect of countering terrorism CT:
    It recommends the present Indonesian model of policing, which could transform from a repressive paramilitary force into an acceptable civilian police department in 13 years and where an April 2007 Gallup Poll found 81% of the public having confidence in the reformed police.
    Link:http://www.sunday-guardian.com/analy...india-pakistan

    I have read that the Australian Federal Police (AFP) have played a role in supporting the reforms.
    davidbfpo

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    Default An active public: what terrorists hate

    Rarely reported, but IMHO a good sign:
    A man threw a pipe bomb at the South Sulawesi governor while he was on a stage but the device packed with nails failed to explode, police said Monday after arresting the suspect and a second man. No one was injured...

    The suspect, Awaluddin Nasir, 25, was beaten up by the crowd and arrested just after allegedly tossing the device.
    Link:http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2...mb-attack.html
    davidbfpo

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    Interesting report from ICG on changes in Indonesian terrorism. Notes 2011 suicide bombings links to vigilante actions not directly tied to more traditional established groups connected with international jihad:

    http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/region...n-cirebon.aspx

    The opening paragraph:
    Anti-vice raids and actions against non-Muslim minorities are becoming a path to more violent jihadism in Indonesia. The 2011 suicide bombings of a police mosque in Cirebon, West Java and an evangelical church in Solo, Central Java were carried out by men who moved from using sticks and stones in the name of upholding morality and curbing “deviance” to using bombs and guns. They show how ideological and tactical lines within the radical community have blurred, meaning that counter-terrorism programs that operate on the assumption that “terrorists” are a clearly definable group distinguishable from hardline activists and religious vigilantes are bound to fail. They also mean that the government must develop a strategy, consistent with democratic values, for countering clerics who use no violence themselves but preach that it is permissible to shed the blood of infidels (kafir) or oppressors (thaghut), meaning government officials and particularly the police.

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    Default Starts well, then goes bizarre

    A very short review by a Singapore think tank of recent developments:
    The recent killings of militants belonging to the so-called East Indonesia Mujahidin Commandos point not to the rise of a brand new militant network, but rather, yet another “mutation” of the old Darul Islam separatist movement or “super-organism.”
    Link:http://www.rsis.edu.sg/publications/...SIS0082013.pdf

    One does wonder how they reached this conclusion, first the apparent situation, followed by a frankly bizarre suggestion (edited citation):
    Finally, the Indonesian police must recognise that excessive use of force actually strengthens the hand of Santoso and his ilk. Granted, the police have suffered casualties themselves at the hands of the militants in recent years. Thus some police officers apparently maintain that “the best kind of deradicalisation is through killing (such) people”. Such an attitude however is counter-productive: worryingly, human rights observers complain that heavy-handed Densus 88 tactics are “driving militancy”.

    Perhaps all police units should explore more systematically the calibrated use of so-called less-lethal weaponry, such as for instance acoustic and directed energy weapons, with Western assistance.
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default To understand terrorism, understand history

    My title will be a familiar theme to SWC, the focus of a new book probably not - Indonesia, a key nation, partly due to its majority Muslim character.

    This week the Australian think tank, the Lowy Institute launched a new book, The Roots of Terrorism in Indonesia: from Darul Islam to Jema'ah Islamiyah, by a leading authority on Islamic extremism in Indonesia, Solahudin:
    Based on a remarkable bredth of original material, Solahudin's book shows how the ideas and form of activism that lead to the Bali Bombings in 2002 have a long and complex history in Indonesia, stretching back to Darul Islam revolt in the 1940s. Solahudin argues that 'al Qaeda-style ideology has been present in Indonesia for decades, long before al Qaeda itself emerged in the 1980s.
    There are a small number of links to reviews, a podcast etc on:http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/...Solahudin.aspx

    In a longer Lowy comment 'Is the 'far enemy' off the agenda for Indonesian terrorists?' the author explains how terrorism has shifted to the 'near enemy', notably the police, from the 'far enemy', usually the Western presence. He refers to the impact since 2006 of a Jordanian theologian's writings - a new name for me, Muhammad Al Maqdisi and jihad tamkin. Ideology is in constant flux, so the target can change.

    It ends with:
    Consequently, a key to understanding terrorism in Indonesia, including whether or not terrorists will again attack the far enemy, is to have knowledge of the local and international political situation and of ideological changes in terrorist circles.
    Link:http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/...errorists.aspx

    The book is not (yet) on Amazon, it is available from the Australian publisher:http://www.newsouthbooks.com.au/book...aah-islamiyah/

    I placed this thread here instead of the Asia-Pacific forum as the book and comments apply far beyond Indonesia. There is a long running thread 'Mainly terrorism in Indonesia; catch all':http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...read.php?t=737
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 08-22-2013 at 01:30 PM.
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    Default Mainly terrorism in Indonesia: catch all

    My title will be a familiar theme to SWC, the focus of a new book probably not - Indonesia, a key nation, partly due to its majority Muslim character.

    This week the Australian think tank, the Lowy Institute launched a new book, The Roots of Terrorism in Indonesia: from Darul Islam to Jema'ah Islamiyah, by a leading authority on Islamic extremism in Indonesia, Solahudin:
    Based on a remarkable bredth of original material, Solahudin's book shows how the ideas and form of activism that lead to the Bali Bombings in 2002 have a long and complex history in Indonesia, stretching back to Darul Islam revolt in the 1940s. Solahudin argues that 'al Qaeda-style ideology has been present in Indonesia for decades, long before al Qaeda itself emerged in the 1980s.
    There are a small number of links to reviews, a podcast etc on:http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/...Solahudin.aspx

    In a longer Lowy comment 'Is the 'far enemy' off the agenda for Indonesian terrorists?' the author explains how terrorism has shifted to the 'near enemy', notably the police, from the 'far enemy', usually the Western presence. He refers to the impact since 2006 of a Jordanian theologian's writings - a new name for me, Muhammad Al Maqdisi and jihad tamkin. Ideology is in constant flux, so the target can change.

    It ends with:
    Consequently, a key to understanding terrorism in Indonesia, including whether or not terrorists will again attack the far enemy, is to have knowledge of the local and international political situation and of ideological changes in terrorist circles.
    Link:http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/...errorists.aspx

    The book is not (yet) on Amazon, it is available from the Australian publisher:http://www.newsouthbooks.com.au/book...aah-islamiyah/

    I placed this thread here instead of the Asia-Pacific forum as the book and comments apply far beyond Indonesia.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 08-26-2013 at 07:18 PM. Reason: Copied from Adversary thread and lightly edited
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    Default Soapbox (partially) averted.

    First, I'm very excited this book was translated into English. Solahudin has a reputation for doing solid work, and I can't wait to get my hands on this.

    Second:
    Indonesia, a key nation, partly due to its majority Muslim character.
    Indonesia isn't just a Muslim majority. It is the world's most populous Muslim country, even beating out Pakistan. I think just under 13% of the world's Muslims live in Indonesia, yet only 83% or so of the population is Muslim. Let's sit and think about that for a second. They are the most populous Muslim nation on Earth, and while they're a majority, they have more religious diversity there than any other Muslim country. Pretty neat! Okay, enough of me geeking out.

    Third:
    David, you summed this up nicely.
    Ideology is in constant flux, so the target can change.
    I think there is a tendency for people to look at a group, analyze them, and say "Okay. We know them." This is dead wrong. They change. Frequently. Much the same way grad students vie to study under a particular professor, so too, do they. They have conferences, publish, and talk about how to further their field. Furthermore, I know I'm preaching to the choir when I say it's dangerous to look at one of these groups and assume because we aren't on their list now, we won't be in the future.

    Fourth:
    I've spent a lot of time thinking about how the non-Arab Muslim world (aside from Iran and Pakistan) largely floats under the radar. This isn't good. Yes, it is important to know what is going on in the Middle East, but to focus on one area to the detriment of the others is short sighted. Case in point: Finding programs to study Arabic required some thinking and planning before 9/11. After that fateful day, they popped up everywhere. Arabic was the 'it' language. Outside of the government, do you know how hard it is to find Urdu? Hell, even Farsi is hard to come by.

    Before I get on my soapbox, I'll stop myself and say it takes years to develop any sort of meaningful understanding these cultures. Do yourself a favor and pick a country in Africa or South Asia/Southeast Asia, and learn everything you can about it. If you want to pick a topic- extremism/religious violence, gender issues, development/reconstruction, globalization, whatever- wonderful. But pick a country.

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    Council Member graphei's Avatar
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    Default Soapbox (partially) averted.

    First, I'm very excited this book was translated into English. Solahudin has a reputation for doing solid work, and I can't wait to get my hands on this.

    Second:
    Indonesia, a key nation, partly due to its majority Muslim character.
    Indonesia isn't just a Muslim majority. It is the world's most populous Muslim country, even beating out Pakistan. I think just under 13% of the world's Muslims live in Indonesia, yet only 83% or so of the population is Muslim. Let's sit and think about that for a second. They are the most populous Muslim nation on Earth, and while they're a majority, they have more religious diversity there than any other Muslim country. Pretty neat! Okay, enough of me geeking out.

    Third:
    David, you summed this up nicely.
    Ideology is in constant flux, so the target can change.
    I think there is a tendency for people to look at a group, analyze them, and say "Okay. We know them." This is dead wrong. They change. Frequently. Much the same way grad students vie to study under a particular professor, so too, do they. They have conferences, publish, and talk about how to further their field. Furthermore, I know I'm preaching to the choir when I say it's dangerous to look at one of these groups and assume because we aren't on their list now, we won't be in the future.

    Fourth:
    I've spent a lot of time thinking about how the non-Arab Muslim world (aside from Iran and Pakistan) largely floats under the radar. This isn't good. Yes, it is important to know what is going on in the Middle East, but to focus on one area to the detriment of the others is short sighted. Case in point: Finding programs to study Arabic required some thinking and planning before 9/11. After that fateful day, they popped up everywhere. Arabic was the 'it' language. Outside of the government, do you know how hard it is to find Urdu? Hell, even Farsi is hard to come by.

    Before I get on my soapbox, I'll stop myself and say it takes years to develop any sort of meaningful understanding these cultures. Do yourself a favor and pick a country in Africa or South Asia/Southeast Asia, and learn everything you can about it. If you want to pick a topic- extremism/religious violence, gender issues, development/reconstruction, globalization, whatever- wonderful. But pick a country.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 08-26-2013 at 07:19 PM. Reason: Copied from Adversary thread and lightly edited

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    From Time magazine 'Q&A: Indonesia’s Terrorism Expert on the Country’s Homegrown Jihadis', the author of the cited book above:http://world.time.com/2013/08/26/qa-...grown-jihadis/

    The last Q&A:
    Are you optimistic that Indonesia’s terrorist movement can be eradicated?

    They will always be there. They can weather all sorts of changes. They will be there as long as there are people who dream of imposing Shari‘a and people who can be easily recruited. Terrorism relies on these three ingredients: a disappointed people, a justifying ideology and an organization. The challenge is how to prevent it from getting big.
    Within the Q&A is an intriguing passage, a practice in counter-radicalisation I have never heard of before, so enlightenment would be a bonus:
    How has Indonesia fared in combating terrorism?

    The most effective way is to organize a meeting between convicted terrorists and victims. Let them see how their acts affect the victims’ lives and their families’. One example: last year, [jailed JI member] Umar Patek met a man who was badly injured in the 2003 Marriott Hotel bombing. It was an emotional encounter. The terrorist was so shocked that he couldn’t say much, apart from telling the victim, “Please tell others how sorry I am. If they can’t forgive me, I can’t go to heaven.”
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by graphei View Post
    First, I'm very excited this book was translated into English. Solahudin has a reputation for doing solid work, and I can't wait to get my hands on this.
    I'm looking forward to seeing it as well; neighborhood affairs and all that.

    I agree that there has long been a radical core in Indonesia following what might be called an "Al Qaeda ideology". I'd also point out that this group's ability to achieve any influence outside it's core membership has typically been related to sectarian violence within Indonesia, rather than to issues elsewhere. That does not mean, of course, that this small core cannot make a big mess. They can: that is the nature of terrorism. If we're looking at the ability of radical Islamists to gain significant political influence, I'd say that ability relates much more closely to internal Indonesian affairs than to an international Islamist agenda.

    Certainly the study of Indonesian history, society, and politics is critical to understanding terrorism in Indonesia. I'd hesitate to base conclusions about "terrorism" generically or in any other market on that study.


    Quote Originally Posted by graphei View Post
    Do yourself a favor and pick a country in Africa or South Asia/Southeast Asia, and learn everything you can about it. If you want to pick a topic- extremism/religious violence, gender issues, development/reconstruction, globalization, whatever- wonderful. But pick a country.
    I did that, over 30 years ago, but I'm not sure I did myself a favor. There are rewards, in a rather abstract sense, but it wasn't exactly an astute career move!
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”

    H.L. Mencken

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    Away from Indonesia now, on the same theme the 'far' or 'near' enemy an article 'Al Qaeda grows as its leaders focus on the 'near enemy':http://www.thenational.ae/thenationa...ear-enemy#full
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    http://file.understandingconflict.or...n_Conflict.pdf

    INDONESIANS AND THE SYRIAN CONFLICT
    30 January 2014
    IPAC Report


    This is a very insightful report that should also probably be posted under one of the Al-Qaeda threads, but since the geographic focus is the impact of jihad in Syria on Indonesia I opted for this thread with the very relevant title of the evolving terrorist threat in Southeast Asia.

    You need to read all 13 pages of the report to capture of the full scope of the analysis. If you read the first two pages, you can confuse it with being overly alarming that Indonesians are sending fighters to Syria to support Al-Qaeda, but it is much more nuanced as you progress and points to the various divisions within the Indonesian jihadist community on whether to support ISIS, Al-Nusra, local groups, or even Assad. More importantly if read with an open mind it help readers make a shift from the tactical (focused on cells committing terrorist acts) to the strategic and gain an appreciation of what they're trying to achieve and the plan for doing so. It also validates what many already appreciate, which is politics are not just local affairs, but local issues have global implications, especially with nations/identity groups that don't appreciate state borders.

    The Syrian conflict is also attractive to Indonesian extremists because it enables them to apply the so-called “two-arm strategy”, the title of a book that has become a runaway hit in the jihadi community.
    The two army strategy is explained in detail in the report, in short it was written my an Al-Qaeda strategist. Much of it is similar to "The Management of Strategy," another jihadist strategy, but this one is focused on how to exploit the Arab Spring. The author notes,

    the restoration of the caliphate cannot start in what he calls “politically dead” areas like Sudan and Mauritania that are of little importance to the Islamic street. Instead it must start in an area of vital interest, near to areas of religious influence, with natural barriers for defence and secure bases. The two places that have these qualities are Syria and Yemen.
    The conflict in Syria has impacted the jihadist movement in Indonesia (and I'm sure many other countries) in ways that can't be fully appreciated yet. Most significantly it has given the jihadist movement a voice again which can breath new life into what was a dying movement in Indonesia. A number of Islamist leaders and their websites are leveraging it in different ways, one I found most interesting was,

    The Syrian conflict has already had an impact in Indonesia by convincing many extremists that their local jihad should be set aside for now to devote energy to the more important one abroad.
    JI’s Abu Rusydan expressed a widely held view when he said: Why should we expend so much energy by thinking small and undertaking a local jihad experiment as we’ve done up till now?
    He went on to say that history showed that the local jihads only end in defeat, because the enemy will be as strong or stronger than any force trying to destroy them. He used as an example the state set up by the Taliban in Afghanistan in the 1990s that eventually collapsed after the Americans invaded. He also pointed to Darul Islam, defeated by the TNI in the 1960s. He said it was time for Indonesians to join the global jihad – a war undertaken collectively by jihadi forces from different countries in an area where victory was assured in prophecies. Indonesians would find the victory that up till now has been elusive: the establishment of an Islamic caliphate.
    The conclusion seems reasonable, but elsewhere in the article the author notes is the political situation in Indonesia changes, then the potential for a revived jihadist movement will exist.

    Without local grievances to build on, no mujahid coming back from Syria or Yemen or anywhere else can build much of a movement, and without community support, as Abu Rusydan has repeatedly argued, no movement can succeed. Indonesia’s great strengths are its own political stability and relatively peaceful regional environment. It is nonetheless worth keeping an eye on Syria.

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