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Old 10-03-2005   #1
SDSchippert
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Default Mainly terrorism in Indonesia: catch all

Indonesian police scrutinized amateur video on Monday that showed a man apparently with a backpack entering a Bali restaurant seconds before one of three suicide bombings that killed as many as 22 people.
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Old 10-13-2005   #2
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Default Terrorism in Indonesia

Interesting paper published on-line today (13 Oct) by the International Crisis Group: Lessons from Maluku and Poso
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In the wake of a second terrorist attack on Bali, the need to understand Indonesia's violent jihadist networks is greater than ever. Two incidents in May 2005 -- the execution of paramilitary police in Ceram, Maluku, and the bombing of a market in Tentena, Poso -- offer case studies of how those networks are formed and operate. Weakening the networks is key to preventing further violence, including terrorism. In Maluku and Poso, sites of the worst communal conflicts of the immediate post-Soeharto period, one place to start is with programs aimed at ex-combatants and imprisoned mujahidin due for release. These men are often part of networks that extend beyond the two conflict areas, but if they can be "reintegrated" into civilian life, their willingness to support mujahidin elsewhere in Indonesia and engage in violence themselves might be lessened. Addressing broader justice and security issues would also help.

Last edited by Jedburgh; 10-13-2005 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 10-13-2005   #3
Steve Blair
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Maybe they could look at some of the US programs aimed at helping former gang members integrate into normal society when they're released from prison...both for things to do and possibly things to avoid doing.
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Old 10-13-2005   #4
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Default Indonesia

Indonesia has done a respectbale job of rounding up known or suspected terrorists. Whether it is done so out of self-interest vice concern for the GWOT is irrelevant. Unfortunately, recent governments have been handicapped by corruption, internal insurgencies, piracy, drug trafficking, and counterfeiting as to make them less than fully effective partners in the GWOT. What Indonesia does provide, along with Pakistan and Bangladesh, is a good example as a potential manpower pool for well financed terror organizations. With 55 million people living in absolute poverty and most illiterate, how do we begin to address their greivances in order for these folks not to become terrorists? Between Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Indonesia, you have over 100 million people living in total poverty and ignorance, thus making them susceptible to being deceived into actively supporting terror networks. What can be done about this? Are we prepared to embark on a global campaign to eradicate ignorance and poverty in order to eliminate those who turn to terrorist groups?
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Old 10-18-2005   #5
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Default Some random thoughts...

I'm kinda pessimistic about Indonesias hand in the GWOT. There was a report on this a few days back here in Australia. Take the report with a grain of salt. The liberal Islamist Wahid is going senile methinks, but the Indonesian police chief is spot on. POLRI (Indon Police) is incompetent and corrupt. The ICG released a telling report two years back on how POLRI members blatantly paraded a group through the town thereby stirring up violence. I think it might have been this report. The links between the TNI (Indon military) and militia groups is also well known. Seeing as though some of these militia are muslim oriented it kinda raises the question as to what extent the TNI are cracking down on extremists and to what extent they are interacting with them for their own purposes. So these social networks might have to be investigated and curtailed.

It's in my own view that a lot of the military members at the lower levels can get out of control. Because the TNI works right down to a village level, whereby members are actually embedded within the political structure of small communities, recklessness can get out of hand without any sort of authoritative oversight. Also considering the massive command and logistical strains over the archipelago which can leave military members isolated like a modern day Colonel Kurtz (just kidding, but you get my point on the ties between geographic isolation and information isolation).

On the political front the conservative political Islamists are doing an excellent job at separating themselves from the radical Islamists. This was seen in the 2004 elections. If anything the best warning signal for growing strife within Indonesia would be to watch their political parties and see which are starting to be influenced by the jihadi zeitgeist. Because the two can be closely intertwined it could pop out of nowhere. One way to weaken the extremist Jihadi political aspirations would be to support and strengthen the liberal Islamist movements within Indonesia, as they are an effective deterrent.

On the media front, if anyone peruses the Indonesian news on this board you'll be aware that corruption is the new black within the Indonesian media (that and their constant love of the paranormal, something that Ralph Peters would probably have something to say about in regards to bad information). So I would expect some of this news to either be: spotlighted for the international community on the corrupt links between terrorism and the military; or, for that news to be blowtorched by the government and military.

Also, in regard to the International Crisis Group ... they should be applauded for their work on gathering open source information on Jemaah Islamiyah.

Last edited by YellowJack; 10-18-2005 at 07:58 AM.
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Old 05-06-2006   #6
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Default Terrorism in Indonesia: Noordin's Networks

From ICG: Terrorism in Indonesia: Noordin's Networks
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The Indonesian police are closing in on Noordin Mohammed Top, South East Asia’s most wanted terrorist. In a dramatic pre-dawn raid on 29 April 2006 in Wonosobo, Central Java, they shot and killed two members of his inner circle and arrested two others. If and when they capture Noordin, they will have put the person most determined to attack Western targets out of commission. But the problem of Noordin’s support structure will still have to be tackled.

For four years Noordin has tapped into jihadist networks to build a following of diehard loyalists, and those same networks may be available to others. Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), the region’s largest jihadist organisation, continues to provide the hard core of that following: the two killed in the Wonosobo raid were longstanding JI members, as was at least one of those arrested. But beginning in 2004, Noordin began reaching out to young men from other organisations and some with no previous organisational affiliation.

Many JI members reportedly see the group he has cobbled together – he grandly calls it al-Qaeda for the Malay Archipelago – as a deviant splinter that has done great harm to the organisation they joined in the mid-1990s. Noordin, however, reportedly sees himself as leading JI’s military wing, even though he answers to no one. He justifies his actions by citing jihadist doctrine that under emergency conditions – for example if surrounded by the enemy – a group of two or three or even a single individual can take on the enemy without instructions from an imam.

This report examines the way in which Noordin has relied on personal contacts to put his group together. It is based on interrogation depositions, court documents, and Indonesian press reports, with information crosschecked through extensive interviews with knowledgeable sources,
both official and unofficial.

Last edited by Jedburgh; 05-06-2006 at 03:29 PM.
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Old 06-06-2006   #7
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Default The Role of Kinship in Indonesia's Jemaah Islamiya

2 Jun 06 Terrorism Monitor: The Role of Kinship in Indonesia's Jemaah Islamiya
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...The use of sibling relationships in jihadi recruitment is to provide further ideological support for the recruits beyond the group itself. Sometimes two or more brothers are recruited for jihad, helping each other during an operation and providing each other inspiration and reassurance. This particular type of recruitment is an effective use of kinship to ensure deeper engagement with the cause and group...
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Old 06-11-2006   #8
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Default Abu Bakar Bashir Released Soon

10 June Voice of America - Pending Release of Accused Jemaah Islamiyah Leader Raises Concerns.

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Pending Release of Accused Jemaah Islamiyah Leader Raises Concerns
By Douglas Bakshian
Manila
10 June 2006

Abu Bakar Bashir, the accused spiritual leader of the militant group Jemaah Islamiyah, is due to be released from prison soon. A top terrorism expert says his release sends the wrong message to terrorists.

Indonesian Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Bashir is expected to be released in a few days, after completing a prison sentence for his involvement in the 2002 Bali bombings, which killed more than 200 people.

Western countries view him as the spiritual leader of Jemaah Islamiyah, a regional militant network linked to the al-Qaida group, and he was convicted of being part of the conspiracy behind the bombings on the resort island.

Southeast Asian and Western authorities also blame Jemaah Islamiyah for other terrorist strikes in the region. Bashir denies any wrongdoing, and says Jemaah Islamiyah does not exist.

Bashir's prison term is almost over, and he will be released in a few days. Rohan Gunaratna, of Singapore's Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies, an expert on terrorist groups in Southeast and South Asia, says Bashir's release sends the wrong message to terrorists.

"It will be a huge boost for the jihadists, because Bashir is a leader of a terrorist group that killed 250 people… innocent people," he said. "I think that Bashir's release will send the wrong signal to jihadists, that you can be the head of a terrorist group and you can still be free."

Gunaratna told foreign correspondents in Manila Saturday that freeing Bashir will likely prompt more terrorist actions. He also argued that militant groups will get a political boost.

"Bashir is also the leader of the Majilis Mujahedin Indonesia, or the Mujahedin Council of Indonesia, umbrella organization of jihad groups in Indonesia," he added. "He will mobilize them, he will politicize them. He has the credentials, because he went to prison and he suffered. So, people will join him, people will work with him. That is why he must stay in prison forever."

An Indonesian court last year sentenced Bashir to 30 months in jail for conspiracy in the Bali bombing. That term was reduced because of time he spent in detention and a reduction he received on Indonesia's 60th independence anniversary in 2005.

Gunaratna describes Bashir as the leader of the most dangerous terrorist group in Southeast Asia, because Jemaah Islamiyah is the group closest to al-Qaida.
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Old 06-11-2006   #9
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Things in Indonesia's Judicial system are different than ours; however, trust that Bakr Bashir will be re-arrested, re-tried, re-convicted, and re-sentenced, as he has been several times before, as soon as he is released. He is in extremely poor health, and similar to the US with Sheikh Abdel Rahman, there is considerable concern that Bakr Bashir will die in custody, and thus provide conspiracy "nuts" with something to potentially exploit. JI and Abu Bakr Bashir are NOT Indonesia's biggest problem. They are still trying to indict, try, and convict members of Suharto's family that stole $8 billion from the country, and left it in financial ruin.
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Old 08-06-2006   #10
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Default The Political Consequences of Military Operations in Indonesia 1945-99

2000 PHD Thesis by LtCol David Kilcullen (Twenty-Eight Articles: Fundamentals of Company-level Counterinsurgency) - The Political Consequences of Military Operations in Indonesia 1945-99: A Fieldwork Analysis of the Political Power-Diffusion Effects of Guerrilla Conflict.

Abstract:

Quote:
Problem Investigated. This dissertation is a study of the political effects of low-intensity warfare in Indonesia since 1945. In particular, it examines the interaction between general principles and contextual variables in guerrilla conflict, to determine whether such conflict causes the diffusion of political power. Analysis of insurgent movements indicates that power structures within a guerrilla group tend to be regionalised, diffuse and based on multiple centres of roughly equal authority.

Conversely, studies of counter-insurgency (COIN) techniques indicate that successful COIN depends on effective political control over the local population. This tends to be exercised by regional or local military commanders rather than by central authority. Based on this, the author’s initial analysis indicated that one should expect to see a diffusion of political authority from central leaders (whether civilian or military) to regional military leaders, when a society is engaged in the conduct of either COIN or guerrilla warfare.

The problem investigated in this dissertation can therefore be stated thus: To what extent, at which levels of analysis and subject to what influencing factors does low-intensity warfare in Indonesia between 1945 and 1999 demonstrate a political power-diffusion effect? Procedures Followed. The procedure followed was a diachronic, qualitative, fieldwork-based analysis of two principle case studies: the Darul Islam insurgency in West Java 1948-1962 and the campaign in East Timor 1974-1999.

Principle research tools were:

• Semi-structured, formal, informal and group interviews.
• Analysis of official and private archives in Australia, Indonesia, the Netherlands and the UK.
• Participant observation using anthropological fieldwork techniques.
• Geographical analysis using transects, basemapping and overhead imagery.
• Demographic analysis using historical data, cartographic records and surveys.

Research was conducted in Australia, Indonesia (Jakarta and Bandung), the Netherlands (The Hague and Amsterdam) and the United Kingdom (London, Winchester, Salisbury and Warminster). Fieldwork was conducted over three periods in West Java (1994, 1995 and 1996) and one period in East Timor (1999-2000). General Results Obtained. The two principal case studies were the Darul Islam insurgency in West Java 1948-62 and the campaign in East Timor since 1974.

The fieldwork data showed that low-intensity warfare in Indonesia between 1945 and 1999 did indeed demonstrate the political power-diffusion effect posited by the author. This effect was triggered by the outbreak of guerrilla warfare, which itself flowed from crises generated by processes of modernisation and change within Indonesian society from traditional hierarchies to modern forms of social organisation. These crises were also affected by events at the systemic and regional levels of analysis – the invasion of the Netherlands East Indies by Japan, the Cold War, the Asian financial crisis and increasing economic and media globalisation. They resulted in a breakdown or weakening of formal power structures, allowing informal power structures to dominate. This in turn allowed local elites with economic, social or religious influence and with coercive power over the population, to develop political and military power at the local level while being subject to little control from higher levels.

This process, then, represented a power diffusion from central and civilian leadership levels to local leaders with coercive means – most often military or insurgent leaders. Having been triggered by guerrilla operations, however, the direction and process by which such power diffusion operated was heavily influenced by contextual variables, of which the most important were geographical factors, political culture, traditional authority structures and the interaction of external variables at different levels of analysis. Topographical isolation, poor infrastructure, severe terrain, scattered population groupings and strong influence by traditional hierarchies tend to accelerate and exacerbate the loss of central control. Conversely good infrastructure, large population centres, good communications and a high degree of influence by nation-state and systemic levels of analysis – particularly through economic and governmental institutionalisation – tend to slow such diffusion. Moreover, while power may be diffusing at one level of analysis (e.g. nation-state) it may be centralising at another (e.g. into the hands of military leaders at local level).

Analysis of the Malayan Emergency indicates that, in a comparable non-Indonesian historical example, the same general tendency to political power diffusion was evident and that the same broad contextual variables mediated it. However, it would be premature to conclude that the process observed in Indonesia is generally applicable. The nature and relative importance of contextual factors is likely to vary between examples and hence additional research on non-Indonesian examples would be necessary before such a conclusion could be drawn. Further research on a current instance of guerrilla operations in Indonesia is also essential before the broader contemporary applicability of these findings can be reliably demonstrated. Major Conclusions Reached.

Based on the above, the theses developed to answer the initial problem can be stated thus: The command and control (C2) structures inherent in traditional, dispersed rural guerrilla movements that lack access to mass media or electronic communications tend to lessen the degree of control by central (military or political) leaders over regional leaders. If COIN or Internal Security Operations are conducted, two factors will operate. First, there will be an increase in the degree of control over the civil population by local military leaders, at the expense of local or central political leaders. Second, where military command structures are pyramidal or segmentary, there will be an increase in control by local commanders at the expense of central military leaders. Where the central government is civilian or has interests divergent from the military’s, the first of these factors will dominate. Where the government is military or has interests largely identical to those of the military, the second factor will be dominant. The process of power diffusion can thus be summarised as follows: A crisis driven by processes of societal change or by external causes, leads to the outbreak of violence, one facet of which may include guerrilla operations. If guerrilla operations do occur, the C2 structures inherent in such operations give a high degree of autonomy and independence to local military leaders. The same (or a contemporaneous) crisis produces a breakdown of formal power structures, causing organisations to fall back upon informal power structures.

The nature of these informal power structures is determined by geography, political culture, patterns of traditional authority within the society and the degree of interaction of systemic/regional factors with local events. Thus the guerrilla operations and the concomitant breakdown in formal power structures form the trigger for political power diffusion. The precise nature and progress of this diffusion is then determined by contextual variables.
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Old 01-24-2007   #11
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ICG, 24 Jan 07: Jihadism in Indonesia: Poso on the Edge
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...This report examines how one neighbourhood in Poso became a JI stronghold and how a small group of men managed to terrorise the city for three years before their identities became known. It looks at the links between the JI structures in Poso and Java and the local grievances and resentments driving the ongoing violence and analyses the way forward...
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Old 02-18-2007   #12
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The TNI have demonstrated a pretty good capability in COIN ops. Their performance in Lebanon has been solid, and their efforts in places like Poso have demonstrated the type of restraint that will contribute to winning some credibility. Gen Petraeus has asked for increased Muslim participation in the coalition. What are the councils thoughts regarding Asian Muslims and the help they can provide in OIF? How can we help MNF I?
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Old 02-19-2007   #13
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Default Great example of how local culture impacts terror groups

The "JI Kinship" article is a great example of how local culture impacts the structure and relationships inside a terrorist group. To often I read about terrorist theories that try to explain all terrorist groups from Yemen to Colombia. It is not rocket science to think that a terrorist groups is a by-product of its local culture, but too often this angle is overlooked in favor of nodal analysis and number crunching.
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Old 03-22-2007   #14
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Default Indonesia: How GAM Won in Aceh

ICG, 22 Mar 07: Indonesia: How GAM Won in Aceh
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When local elections were held in Aceh on 11 December 2006, conventional wisdom (shared by Crisis Group) was that candidates from the Free Aceh Movement (Gerakan Aceh Merdeka, GAM) would not do well. They might pick up two or three of the nineteen district races, but the biggest prize – the provincial governorship – was almost certainly out of reach. The old Jakarta-linked parties would benefit from deep pockets, established structures and a split in the former insurgency’s leadership. Polls just before formal campaigning began showed GAM’s governor/deputy governor slate – Irwandi Yusuf and Muhammad Nazar – virtually out of contention. But GAM won overwhelmingly, in what an analyst called “a perfect storm between the fallout from the peace accord and the failure of political parties to understand the changing times”. The challenge now is to govern effectively and cleanly in the face of high expectations, possible old elite obstructionism and some GAM members’ sense of entitlement that it is their turn for power and wealth....
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Old 05-03-2007   #15
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ICG, 3 May 07: Indonesia: Jemaah Islamiyah’s Current Status
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...We will have to wait for more arrests and more information from those detained in March for definitive answers to questions about JI’s current status. It is resilient but not invulnerable, and while it continues to recruit, the organisation as a whole may be shrinking. People have left for different reasons. In some cases, like Subur Sugiarto’s, it may be because a more militant wing finds JI too cautious and bureaucratic. Others, particularly released prisoners, may be co-opted, if only temporarily, by government officials hoping to infiltrate and divide the organisation. One alumnus of a JI pesantren said that he realised he had graduated with no useful skills, and the only occupation open to him, outside petty trade, was teaching in another JI school. If schools are critical to JI’s regeneration, then dissatisfaction with restrictions inside and opportunities outside may ultimately do more damage to the group than arrests....
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Old 05-10-2007   #16
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Default Where the War on Terror is Succeeding

May 2007, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace - Where the War on Terror is Succeeding by Josh Kurlantzick.

Quote:
In October 2002, Islamic radicals set off two powerful bombs on the Indonesian island of Bali. Detonated in the heart of the tourist district, they obliterated several bars and nightclubs, killing over 200 people—visiting Australians, Americans, and other foreign nationals, as well as Indonesians—and wounding still more. It was the worst terrorist attack in the country’s history. Shocked and taken aback by the carnage, the international media proclaimed the end of innocence for the tropical retreat.

To anyone who had been paying attention to political developments in Southeast Asia over the previous decade, however, the surprise was misplaced. Well before the Bali bombing, Islamists had turned the region as a whole into a front in their global jihad. In the Philippines, the radical group Abu Sayyaf, which received funding from the brother-in-law of Osama bin Laden, had built itself into a powerfully lethal force. In Indonesia, an even deadlier terror group, Jemaah Islamiah (JI), had also expanded, bombing churches and ultimately putting in motion the Bali plot...

Today, less than five years after the attack on Bali, the situation in Southeast Asia has changed dramatically. Across the region, jihadist groups like Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiah are struggling to survive, Islamist parties seem to be weakening, and the region’s newest leaders openly wage war on terror. Moreover, the United States has played a leading role in these successes, and it has done so without creating much in the way of an anti-American reaction. Indeed, Southeast Asia is proving to be a model for the “long war” against Islamist terror. The lessons of its recent progress deserve to be studied closely...
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Old 05-11-2007   #17
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I wonder how much of this can be attributed to the good guys providing some pretty wonderful tsunami relief to the region while the bad actors did nothing to help the stricken.
It would be interesting to see how things stand with terrorist organizations in
Thailand , Malaysia, and Myanmar these days as well.
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Old 06-16-2007   #18
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Default 2 Terror Leaders Arrested in Indonesia

15 June AP - 2 Terror Leaders Arrested in Indonesia by Robin McDowell.

Quote:
The head of Southeast Asia's most feared terrorist group was arrested along with his military chief, police said Friday, claiming a breakthrough in the fight against extremists in the world's most populous Muslim nation.

Authorities warned, however, that Jemaah Islamiyah - blamed for the 2002 Bali bombings and other attacks - and breakaway factions could still carry out strikes against Western and Christian interests...
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Old 06-17-2007   #19
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Counterterrorism Blog, 17 Jun 07:

Major Changes within Jemaah Islamiyah Alleged
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Based on initial interrogations of top Jemaah Islamiyah members who were captured over the past week, the Indonesian police are now painting a picture of a terrorist organization attempting to consolidate in the face of heavy attrition.

According to the police, JI has now done away with its earlier region-wide mantiqi ("regional command") structure. Previously, JI had four mantiqi covering large portions of Southeast Asia and Australia. At its peak (prior to late 2002), each mantiqi consisted of up to a dozen wakilah, and each wakilah were comprised of several fiah, or cells. Overseeing all this was a markaz, a small headquarters consisting of top JI members.

It is now understood that JI still recognizes a markaz. But under the markaz, JI now divides itself into four ishoba which only cover the Indonesian island of Java. These ishoba are named after historical figures in Islam....
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Old 06-18-2007   #20
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Default Indonesian Terror Group Limits Attacks

18 June NY Times - Indonesian Terror Group Limits Attacks by Seth Mydans.

Quote:
Long before the arrests of two of its top militants last week, the region’s major terrorist group had been moving away from the tactic of large-scale attacks, experts said Sunday.

This is a time of religious and social ferment, as Indonesia’s tradition of moderation and inclusiveness is tested by a rise in conservatism and an increased focus on Islam as a religion and a moral code.

Islamist violence is only one factor, and there is division and debate among militants as well as among the population at large...
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