Monday, March 21, 2011

Muslim Extremists Gaining Momentum in Indonesia

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Radical Muslim groups are thought to be behind mail bombs recently delivered to prominent figures and security officials, including Christians, in various places in Indonesia. Human rights activists and ordinary Indonesians are sounding the alarm, warning the country is slowing turning into a Pakistan-style ‘Islamised’ state in which extremist movements sow terror to gain power.

Although the authorities have not made any public statement on the matter, many believe that extremist groups are behind a recent spate of attacks involving books containing explosive sent by mail. Inspector Ansyaas Mbai, head of the anti-terror department, blames radical Islamic movements, like Jemaah Islamiyah, the Islamic State of Indonesia and the Mujahedeen Kompak.

The recent bombings were carried out by “old players within the old terror network”, based on their modus operandi and the evidence collected at the sites where attacks occurred, which are “closely related to their (political) ideology,” he said.

The anti-terrorism expert noted that Muslim extremists used similar methods in the past, during sectarian clashes between Christians and Muslims in Poso (central Sulawesi) in 2006.

“The only different thing is the packaging. Now, they use books as bomb cover; in the past torches were commonly used. When the torchlight was set on, the bomb went off,” Mbaai explained.

Targets are another major difference. They include Indonesians seen as close to or puppets in the hands of the Americans and the Israelis.

Targets are labelled “common enemies”, people opposed to the introduction of Sharia, Islamic law, or to the establishment of an Islamic state in Indonesia. (Read more.)

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