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ICC Note:

The sad reality of Islamic terrorism in Indonesia is the control they eventually acquire in different regions. When they take possession of a region, these Muslim Radicals implement Sharia Law to all people although it should only adhere to Muslims. As such, an estimated 8,000 Christians have been displaced within the past two years. They have been driven out by mobs of local Muslims attacking churches and demanding their closure. Rather than punishing such violence, local authorities have demolished more churches. Christians are stripped of their human rights and even their lives, wherever Sharia Law persists.  

10/17/2016 Indonesia (Frontera News) – Indonesia’s former President Suharto has much to answer for but he kept religiously motivated violence at bay – in his early years, at least.

The secular authoritarian’s strong-arm tactics left little room for Islamists to foster influence. But as his power base waned, Suharto later appointed politically conservative Muslims to high ranks in the government and military, lending tacit support to Islamic extremists.

This influence has remained entrenched ever since. Despite liberalization, sectarian tensions and corruption have continued to plague government affairs – creating an environment ripe for radical Islam.

In the past decade, local groups such as Jemaah Islamiyah have developed into a serious regional threat by linking with al-Qaeda and subsequently Islamic State. Governments have attempted to keep the issue localized by granting the implementation of Sharia Law within the northern Aceh region, for example. But instead, the Islamist groups are going global.

Take the East Indonesia Mujahadin, or MIT. It’s had strong links into Syria since 2013 and is frequently featured in the international jihadist media. The group’s leader, Abu Wardah al-Syarqi, also known as Santoso, declared allegiance to Islamic State in July 2014.

MIT further affirmed its position earlier this year by carrying out the first major terrorist attack in Indonesia in six years. On Jan. 14, five MIT members attacked at the Sarinah shopping mall in central Jakarta. Although far from “successful,” it had the hallmarks of ISIS: The planting and specific positioning of explosives; the use of a gunman in addition to suicide bombers; the selection of a soft, tourist target to inflict maximum fear. Investigations revealed that the attack was the work of an organized cell supported by ISIS.

The attack was originated, funded and driven by Bahrun Naim, an Indonesian national living in Raqqa, who is the main liaison between MIT and ISIS in the Middle East. He regularly issues high profile messages calling for Indonesians to travel to Syria. Naim is also understood by security forces to have been behind the July 5 suicide bombing of a police station in Solo in Central Java.

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