Indonesia exposing ISIS ties with local terror groups

The National Police aims to thwart ISIS recruitment campaigns and influence in the archipelago.

By Maeswara Palupi for Khabar Southeast Asia in Jakarta

September 03, 2014
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Indonesian authorities are working to find connections between home-grown terrorist networks and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant ( ISIS ).

  •  A Densus 88 officer takes part in a raid in Ngawi, East Java, on August 8th, which resulted in the arrests of two suspected supporters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). An ISIS flag is visible in the foreground. [Surya/Khabar]

    A Densus 88 officer takes part in a raid in Ngawi, East Java, on August 8th, which resulted in the arrests of two suspected supporters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). An ISIS flag is visible in the foreground. [Surya/Khabar]

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"ISIS seems to use Indonesia because we have the largest Muslim population," Indonesian Police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar told Khabar Southeast Asia. "They are using our country to persuade people to join their struggle, claiming it is for Islam."

Counter-terrorism unit Densus 88 uncovered evidence linked to the Middle Eastern group in raids.

On August 9th, officers arrested Jamaah Ansharut Tauhid (JAT) leader Afif Abdul Majid in Bekasi. The day before, they captured Guntur Pamungkas and Kardi, suspected ISIS sympathisers and members of the Eastern Indonesia Mujahideen (MIT), in Ngawi, East Java.

"We have found the ISIS flag on every terrorist arrested this year, including one in Ngawi, East Java and in Bekasi, West Java," Boy said, referring to those arrests. "Our assessments continue to find links between terrorism [in Indonesia] and ISIS."

Afif was arrested for alleged involvement in financing sinister activities led by convicted terrorist Luthfi Hudairoh, who is serving a 10-year prison sentence.

"Like many others, (Afif) openly stated his support for ISIS," Boy said, noting he reconnected with JAT founder and radical cleric Abu Bakar Bashir and pledged allegiance to ISIS alongside Bashir.

"We will not permit ISIS to spread its vision and mission in Indonesia," Boy vowed.

Countering the ISIS threat

Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin told reporters August 9th that ISIS not only fights the West, but also fights fellow Muslims, warning it could disrupt Indonesia's religious diversity and divide its majority Muslim populace.

"ISIS is using religious sentiment to get more followers. This could damage the nation's harmony," Lukman told Khabar, adding that precautions needed to be taken to safeguard Indonesia from this violent organisation.

In addition to security measures, the government should come up with other ways to fight ISIS's recruitment efforts, according to terrorism expert Noor Huda Ismail.

"The different approaches should focus on individuals under the age of 40 and it can be done through the community, including maximising the role of religious leaders and family," he told Khabar.

"Countering radicalism will take some time, but obviously the sooner the better."

Reader Comments
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    • BERTUS
      October 24, 2014 @ 07:10:46PM
    • ISIS will flourish in Indonesia, just wait, because it is being mishandled.
    • Waluyo Setyo
      October 15, 2014 @ 11:10:24AM
    • What is important is that we as Muslim men and women stay true to Islam and Hadith. Allah willing, we give it our best.
    • ucla
      October 14, 2014 @ 01:10:28AM
    • Hold on to your shoulders and kneel when those who wage war on you fight you. Ask for mercy and ask for compassion from them. If you are able, run away, because Islam is a blessing for all creation.
    • arie
      October 13, 2014 @ 12:10:51PM
    • I support ISIS. This is retribution by Islam on the infidels. Those who do not support ISIS are not carrying out Allah's law.
    • Edwin Juliander
      October 13, 2014 @ 01:10:27AM
    • Of all the religions on this Earth, not one of them preaches evil or wickedness. All of them teach love or blessings for all creation. Indeed we must fight evil but not by giving rise to evil by killing our fellows. The one who created humans is Allah and therefore the one with the right to take someone's life is Allah Himself, not humans. So, anyone who means to defend truth but commits evil by killing their fellows is actually insulting Allah as the Creator. The one with the right to punish humans is Allah, not humans. Allah does not need defending because Allah is almighty. With but a word all can be leveled and destroyed. So, just pray to Him, He will act on and listen to your prayer if you are truly righteous.
    • hergi
      October 15, 2014 @ 01:10:40AM
    • In history, who committed genocide on the American Indian tribes? Who committed genocide on the Aborigines in Australia? Who slaughtered Muslims in Palestine when Pope Urbanus II was in power in Rome? Who committed the massacre of Muslims in Bosnia Herzegovina? Who has long been slaughtering Muslims in Al-Quds? You know the answer. You might pray when the sword is at your throat. But for me, jihad is the answer.
    • jeckky jekson
      October 12, 2014 @ 04:10:40AM
    • It is indeed a bit difficult to eradicate radical organizations that sport religious labels, particularly Islam because of the multitude of interpretations that are too complex. There are dogmas in the Arabic language that cannot be translated into the mother tongue of the followers and in the end the secrets of the Qur'an are possessed by certain people who hold power. Therefore, the faithful who have a weaker understanding become easy to manipulate towards certain goals.
    • pencari cahaya
      October 10, 2014 @ 03:10:19PM
    • How can we save ourselves?
    • wira
      October 10, 2014 @ 09:10:17AM
    • Regardless, we live in Indonesia which has its own regulations that have to be followed. If we lived somewhere else we must of course heed the laws of that country. If we want to play soccer we must of course follow the rules of soccer, not the rules of another sport.
    • hamba Allah
      October 10, 2014 @ 06:10:17AM
    • Killers and traitors to religion must be killed, so that they don't run amok. That is justice in Islamic law. If that is the reason why ISIS is killing, then Islam justifies it, but not in Indonesia.
    • MINV
      October 9, 2014 @ 11:10:47AM
    • Jihad for Islam.
    • hudri
      October 8, 2014 @ 02:10:09AM
    • ISIS is no different than a person with hunger as an excuse. Let's study religion so we won't be led astray by clerics. Don't look at their turbans and beards as signs of righteousness, but look at what they do every day.
    • hulmansiregar
      October 12, 2014 @ 08:10:49AM
    • Very true.
    • sriwidodo
      October 8, 2014 @ 12:10:32AM
    • The people of Israel are the chosen people of Allah but Israel is in the hands of a Jewish regime, a regime that is not liked, that is cruel, one that is arrogant, cursed and evil.
    • ANDHY
      October 6, 2014 @ 06:10:29AM
    • We are Allah's Mujahideen. We rally together to destroy the Jews.
    • nurofik
      October 6, 2014 @ 03:10:20AM
    • Islam is a blessing for all creation. The presence of Islam is not only for peace and serenity in the lives of human beings but also to give blessings and love to the universe, therefore when people act in the name of Islam but their behavior is devoid of love, they are certainly not of the true Islam.
    • yuda
      October 6, 2014 @ 01:10:31AM
    • No retreat.
    • Abdulloh
      October 5, 2014 @ 05:10:41AM
    • ISIS is actually a group that is blind to religion because they no longer know what is right and what is wrong, they only claim to be religious people who are the most righteous in their deeds. If ISIS really wants war, then why not go to Gaza and face Israel? Why are they instead brutally killing defenseless innocents in Iraq or in Syria simply for being of different views or different religions? Meanwhile, in the Qur'an (An-Nahl: 125), it is said "Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best. Indeed, Allah is most knowing of who has strayed and who has not". ISIS is a group that sees themselves as the most righteous whereas other groups are heretics, infidels, etc. when what ISIS knows is but the surface. If you feel most righteous you must understand the meaning of the Surat An-Nahl aforementioned. Now what they receive is karma: vilified, hunted and killed by Arabs themselves, not just by America and friends. Repent quickly before you are decimated.
    • hdri
      October 8, 2014 @ 02:10:04AM
    • That is correct, friend.
    • hergi
      October 15, 2014 @ 01:10:57AM
    • Soon, IS will go to Gaza and destroy Israel which will never be achieved by Hamas and Fattah. But, this is not yet the time because they must still go through Syria, Lebanon and Jordan which are "friends of the Zionists". Look to 5 years in the future, the historical landscape of the world will be changed by the Mujahideen which will never be done by the rich Arab rulers.
    • hamba allah
      October 4, 2014 @ 09:10:58PM
    • I support ISIS, so that Jews do not act with impunity towards Muslims. fight them until the last drop of blood, we see Israel freely attack Palestinian Muslims but the US does not lift a finger. The US and its allies are murderers of humanity, this is why ISIS emerged to rival the cruelty of the US and it cronies.
    • zzz
      October 8, 2014 @ 08:10:09AM
    • If Iraq under the Sunni is attacked, no Muslim countries arrest American supporters. When Sunni Iraq needs ISIS to defend them from Shia Iraq who would mislead and make infidels out of Sunni descendants and challenge America which is working to destroy the Arab world for Israel. There are also people who capture ISIS supporters. It is the obligation of Sunni governments to defend ISIS and their Sunni brothers and sisters from the brutality of the Shia and America. They are not captured. Who wants to help their Sunni brothers in Iraq? Is this what you call Muslims? Afraid of America. Have they not read the Hadith of Imam Mahdi who will emerge under the black flag in Iraq. Stupid, ignorant and evil. There are many kinds of people. To hate ISIS is to hate the faction that will be led by Al-Mahdo in the end times. All of them are like infidels, America who hates ISIS. These wicked Muslims are no different from infidels who do not believe in Allah and the Prophet.
    • MINV
      October 9, 2014 @ 11:10:35AM
    • Allah is great, challenge the infidel Jews and the hypocrites who would tear down Allah's religion. Carry out jihad, my brothers, in Palestine and Syria. May Allah take them to paradise. We need to jihad for Palestine and Syria because Muslims are being oppressed there. In closing, understand the meaning of jihad and then you will understand why jihad in Palestine and Syria is an obligation, my brothers in Islam all over the world.
    • ahmad ch
      October 2, 2014 @ 11:10:16AM
    • What is ISIS?
    • hq
      October 2, 2014 @ 12:10:51AM
    • But this country is also not a country of devils!
    • xxxlol
      September 30, 2014 @ 01:09:02PM
    • ISIS? Why have you taken on the mask of Islam? Why not others?
    • bani abutoyib
      September 30, 2014 @ 01:09:08AM
    • Try to consider this properly, are you religious or ambitious of spirit? Is your religion Islam or some pretend religion? See jihad through the knowledge of wisdom. The reward is peace and a sound heart. ISIS or not ISIS, whoever you are, you will either go to hell or heaven. Whether you believe it or not, don't seek for proof here, you will all be given what's coming to you by Allah the creator.
    • rudi.hakim
      September 29, 2014 @ 04:09:04AM
    • Do not presume to be the most righteous and only be influenced by Western propaganda if we do not know what is really happening out there.
    • Antoni
      September 28, 2014 @ 10:09:40AM
    • In truth, everyone who has a religion knows what truth really is; humanity is taught by all religions in the world. This the difference between us and animals who can kill and even eat other animals, even its own kind. Animals cannot see, feel and assess what is happening around them. We are not animals but rather humans who have character, can think and be critical in our judgement. Come, show that you are not infidels by talking, assessing and taking action. The infidel way is to act in contradiction to what God commanded. The infidel is good at seeing the shortcomings of others only, the infidel is proud. As if a group that brutally slits people's necks until they are nearly detached, kills people of their own religion, rapes women with their animal lust, kills thousands like they're only mice, is fit to be called human? So, people who defend this group might not be considered humans, right?
    • fzl srg
      September 26, 2014 @ 03:09:36AM
    • Don't eat up too much slander and don't be ignorant to the influence of America and Israel. They murder, bomb, rape, etc. but are never called terrorists. Sadistic killing between soldiers and spies is strategy, you are blind to the military and propaganda, so it must be balanced, stupid.
    • hamba Ilahi
      October 3, 2014 @ 02:10:23AM
    • I strongly agree with you. Look at what is happening in Syria, who is killing young children with chemical bombs, they lie dead everywhere. ISIS is challenging them. Other people do nothing. Is ISIS evil or is it the other way around? Who is behind the dictator Al-Assad in Syria? Why do the US, UN, Israel, Europe and Australia not do anything and just playing dumb?
    • kiroh
      September 25, 2014 @ 06:09:06AM
    • ISIS and its cronies must be purged in our beloved country of Indonesia! Or, we make our own caliphate to rival ISIS. Mr. Joko Widodo is the caliph of Indonesia because a caliph is the legitimate leader or president! It's not that hard.
    • Hamba Allah
      September 25, 2014 @ 12:09:49AM
    • The majority of our country's population is Muslim. But, our country has Pancasila as a principle. Go ahead and use Islamic law, but for those who are Muslim! For those who have other religions, they should use generally applied laws. Why is that so hard, it is a matter of whether or not one has the courage. What about the important officials?
    • hamba allah
      September 23, 2014 @ 09:09:14AM
    • Hopefully, the Muslims of Indonesia will be saved and protected by Allah SWT from destruction.
    • itan
      September 23, 2014 @ 02:09:48AM
    • ISIS is the incarnation of Lucifer, prince of devils.
    • Akhmad Helmi
      September 22, 2014 @ 02:09:31AM
    • ISIS should mobilize to fight against depravity which exists in certain places. That is better as jihad than broadcasting the power of ISIS itself which will add to the atmosphere of unrest among the people of the archipelago.
    • Ridi
      September 17, 2014 @ 07:09:35AM
    • It shall remain.
    • mbah bejo
      September 16, 2014 @ 03:09:47AM
    • Massacre all of ISIS in this beloved country of Indonesia.
    • marsetijo
      September 25, 2014 @ 06:09:35AM
    • We should just decimate ISIS and its supporters.
    • tiang karkatau
      September 15, 2014 @ 02:09:51AM
    • Murder is the symbol of morality deterioration of humans.
    • as
      September 15, 2014 @ 02:09:42AM
    • Long live ISIS.
    • Choirul azhar
      September 21, 2014 @ 10:09:42PM
    • It is people like you who threaten the integrity and diversity of the religious and cultural plurality of the Indonesian nation. We must also remember that Indonesia is not a battleground for jihad like the way you think it is and Islam does not teach violence, let alone genocide to expand its influence in the world.
    • roi
      September 13, 2014 @ 10:09:54PM
    • Timika. Sunday 14.9.14 ISIS is just a bunch of devil hearted people. Just nuke their bases.
    • rahayu
      September 11, 2014 @ 04:09:35AM
    • Our country is one that has different religions and despite this difference, we are still one. If ISIS wanted to spread truth, why does it have to be with violence. Those who would not follow them are beheaded; is that truth in Islam? Islam teaches us to appreciate each other. Do not be swayed by ISIS, drive ISIS out of this country, let our country be forever independent. Once free, always free, because independence comes from the sacrifice of body and soul. Our heroes achieved the independence we have to this day. Let us nurture this independence by following good things, things that do not destroy unity.
    • kiroh
      September 25, 2014 @ 06:09:19AM
    • Correct.
    • paman doblang
      September 8, 2014 @ 06:09:17AM
    • Do not be deceived by all the radicalism in the name of Islam because Islam is a religion full of love. Even the destruction of homes in times of war is forbidden by Islamic teachings, let alone killing women, children and civilians. Beware of the big conspiracy to sow discord between Muslims. ISIS doesn't have the soul of Muslims, instead it allows freedom that does not reflect the culture of etiquette and Eastern ethics that exalt individual freedom. It must be fought as well with truth and wisdom. It will come but it will take time and patience.
    • rudi.hakim
      September 29, 2014 @ 04:09:06AM
    • All forms of radicalism is a means to an end. To me it is easy without force of arms. Embrace them and listen to their aspiration and look for a solution together, not through a show of force because eliminating radicalism is not with weapons but through culture and religion. The more we destroy them the stronger their hearts and souls will become.
    • rt
      September 6, 2014 @ 10:09:19AM
    • ISIS are dogs!
    • rasji karim
      September 5, 2014 @ 01:09:24AM
    • Send me the news.
    • bara-bere
      September 4, 2014 @ 11:09:33PM
    • Muslims will continue to defend Islamic law, because whoever does not abide by Allah's law, they are infidels, and infidels must be eliminated in an Islamic country if they disturb the peace of Muslims. These are not my words, they are the guidelines for Muslims.
    • Kafir bagimu
      September 25, 2014 @ 06:09:08AM
    • Stupid and shallow words, saying infidels are okay. You're ISIS, aren't you? Show your address if you're not a coward.
    • nn
      September 27, 2014 @ 10:09:28PM
    • But our country is not an Islamic country, idiot!
    • hudri
      October 8, 2014 @ 02:10:05AM
    • Hi, NN, don't be like that. Indeed, Indonesia is not an Islamic country but the religion is a majority in Indonesia.
    • nana
      October 8, 2014 @ 08:10:05AM
    • Whether it ISIS or ISUS, it is up to you. Why is that so hard? What is important is that we can eat our fill. If you want to catch a breeze, unbutton your clothes outdoors, done.
    • boogem
      October 9, 2014 @ 07:10:14AM
    • ISIS is the best, Al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda, yes, destroy the apostates, idolaters, harbi infidels and their followers.

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