10/28/2022 Indonesia (International Christian Concern) – On October 26, police apprehended a Muslim woman attempting to enter the presidential palace. The woman, Siti Elina, 24, allegedly pointed a gun at a presidential security guard before being arrested.
Following police questioning, Indonesian authorities stated that the woman had been exposed to Islamic State ideology. She disclosed that her reason for attempting to enter the palace was to meet and lecture President Joko Widodo on Indonesia’s “heretical” secular ideology, Pancasila.
According to the National Counter Terrorism Agency, Elina is also a sympathizer of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia, an extremist organization. The organization was banned by the government in 2017 after it called for the creation of an Islamic caliphate in Indonesia.
Stanislaus Rinyanta, who works for the Research Center for Police Science and Terrorism Studies at the University of Indonesia, believes this attack demonstrates that “the threat of terrorism is not over yet, and radicalization occurs in many ways, directly or through media such as the Internet.”
He continued, telling media outlet UCA News that, “One of the characteristics of Islamic State-affiliated groups is that they also use women as perpetrators of terror acts, and we know that their targets are government offices and places of worship.”
According to Mr. Rinyanta, all potential targets must be on their guard against attacks by small cells and individuals due to the prevalence of self-radicalization. He also believes that there are very few true “lone wolf” attacks and that “a very important effort in countering terrorism is to uncover the network in order to thwart future threats.”
The Indonesian National Police released a statement saying that in 2021, 370 people were arrested for terrorism crimes, compared to the 232 people arrested in 2020.
Churches in Indonesia have been the main targets of terrorist attacks. Last March, ICC reported on the bombing of Makassar Sulawesi. The suicide bombing attack occurred during a Palm Sunday service and left more than 20 people severely wounded.
Please pray for those who have suffered from acts of terrorism in Indonesia. Please also pray for wisdom for Indonesian authorities attempting to stop the spread of extremism.
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