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    » 08/12/2014, 00.00

    INDONESIA - ISLAM

    Aceh, the operative base for the Islamic Caliphate in Asia, through recruitment and indoctrination

    Mathias Hariyadi

    Fringes of the jihadist movement already active in 16 provinces in the Indonesian archipelago. Thousands of people have sworn allegiance to the fundamentalist leader Abu Bakar Al-Baghdadi. Most are veterans of the jihad with extensive experience in Afghanistan or, on the domestic front of the Moluccas. Jakarta: some areas are "fertile ground" for enrollment.

    Jakarta (AsiaNews) - It has yet to make any startling conquests in the Asian nation, but the Indonesian section of the Islamic State (formerly ISIS, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) has already started mass recruitment - as recently reported- in over 16 provinces of the archipelago. In particular, Aceh, the westernmost and majority Muslim area, is turning into a sort of haven for Sunni extremists, with the active brainwashing and indoctrination, especially of young people. According to a survey published in the local Serambi newspaper, in at least 21 districts of Aceh there is a massive infiltration of militants, as thousands took the oath of allegiance to the head of the Caliphate, the fundamentalist leader Abu Bakar Al-Baghdadi.

    Last week, a man identified as Abu Jundullah said to be the head of the Islamist movement in Aceh; the foundation of the group dates back to the 1st January 2014, as the leader says "we are not the Indonesian branch of IS, but act directly under the leadership of Al-Baghdadi and we are all inhabitants of Aceh".

    For the Indonesian Islamic leader Jundullah the presence of an Islamic State is explained by the "great work" done in Syria and Iraq; most affiliates in Aceh are jihadist veterans from the wars in Afghanistan and violent inter-religious conflict in Ambon and Moro, the Moluccas, 1999-2002.

    He adds that the goal is to transform all districts of Aceh into "chapters" of the Islamic state "before 2015" and work has already begun with propaganda campaigns in the countryside.

    At the same time the number of Muslim religious leaders in Aceh, who condemn the presence of affiliates of IS in the province is growing; dozens of ulema and experts in Islamic law preach against the seizure of power by the Islamists. Jakarta is also stepping up its warnings with the head of counter-terrorism - Gen. Ansyaad Mbai - confirming the "fertile ground" found by the international jihadist movement in some provinces of the country, with particular attention to recruiting.

    In recent days, special units carried out a series of raids in the district of Ngawi, in the province of East Java, detaining two suspects; they also seized guns, ISIS flags and a book praising the jihad.

    Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, is increasingly the scene of attacks or episodes of intolerance towards minorities, whether they are Christians, Ahmadi Muslims or other faiths. In the province of Aceh - the only one in the Archipelago to apply Islamic law (sharia) - following a peace agreement between the central government and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM), and in many other areas (such as Bekasi and Bogor in West Java) the version of Islam practiced by citizens is becoming more radical and extreme.

     

     

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    See also

    01/08/2014 INDONESIA
    Indonesian Muslims slate the "Caliphate" and ISIS: We need peace and coexistence
    A video posted on YouTube by an unknown Indonesian Islamic guerrilla calls the "brothers and sisters" of Southeast Asia to join the Islamic State in Iraq and fight for the creation of a Muslim caliphate. In recent days, hundreds of people gathered to invoke “holy war." Moderate Islamic leader: "Only a fool would make such a choice, we strongly condemn these senseless actions."

    21/08/2014 INDONESIA - ISLAM
    Borobudur, Islamists target Indonesia’s most important Buddhist temple
    The complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, risks being destroyed like the Buddhas of Bamiyan. Authorities strengthen security measures. Citizens invited to participate in the defense of "cultural heritage". President Yudhoyono declares jihadist violence "humiliating" for Islam.

    16/07/2014 IRAQ
    Patriarch of Baghdad grateful for the election of the Speaker of the House, now for the government
    After sending a letter-appeal to MPs, Mar Sako welcomes the appointment of the Sunni al-Salim Jabouri at the helm of the House. He calls for a renewed effort to complete the appointments (President and Prime Minister of the Republic) and open the doors to the formation of the executive. In Mosul, the Islamists "mark" the homes of Christians.

    04/07/2014 IRAQ
    Massoud Barzani launches a referendum for the independence of Kurdistan
    It has been the Kurds’ dream since the end of the First World War. But the UN and the United States are calling for national unity to oppose the rebels of the Islamic Caliphate. Maliki opens to the generals of Saddam Hussein. Saudi Arabia deploys 30 thousand troops to the border: it fears the very rebels that it has financed.

    02/08/2014 IRAQ
    Patriarch of Baghdad, Mosul Christians should be able to stay in Iraq, not forced into exile
    Mar Sako thanks France and Bahrain for the proposal to facilitate visas for Iraqi Christians, but calls for support for "a political solution" so the population is not forced to leave Iraq. Desperate need for emergency aid and shelters for refugees.



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