» 08/04/2014, 00.00
INDONESIA - ISLAM
Indonesia, jailed Islamic extremist leader "swears allegiance" ISIS
A picture taken in a maximum security prison of Nusakambangan witness the oath and confirms the growing linkage between Indonesian extremists and the Islamist movement. Abu Bakar Baasyir "favorable" to the project of the global Caliphate. But the majority of moderate Muslims are opposed.
Jakarta (AsiaNews) - The controversial Indonesian Muslim leader Abu Bakar Baasyir, former head of the Mujahideen Council (MMI), and godfather and ideologue of the extremist Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), supports the worldwide Caliphate and has sworn an oath of allegiance to 'Isis. The "ceremony" took place in recent days in the maximum security prison of Nusakambangan, as confirmed by a picture (photo) circulated on line. Taking advantage of the feast of Eid al-Fitr - marking the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting and prayer, - and laxer security measures, people close to the Islamist leader immortalized the "ritual" that binds the leader of the Indonesian fanatical fringe to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis), to the "Sheik" Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and his project of the global Caliphate.
The Nusakambangan prison is the Indonesian "version" of Guantanamo, built by the United States in the homonymous base on Cuban territory to intern terrorists and members of Islamic extremist movements. It is located off the island of Java, in the district of Cilacap, in the south-west of Central Java, and is regulated by strict security protocols.
It also holds the leader of the now dissolved JI movement which was held responsible for the Bali bombings of October 2002 which killed over 200 people and the attack on churches on Christmas Eve of 2000. However not even the rigid security has prevented Islamist propaganda and the publication of such "sensitive" images.
The shot depicts Abu Bakar Baasyir - Founder amongst other things of Jemaah Ansharut Tauhid (JAT) and sentenced to 15 years in prison-at the center of a group of 13 people, some with their faces covered, holding an ISIS banner. Local sources speak of growing support of the so-called Forum of Activists for Sharia (Faksi) - who regularly visit the prison to meet Baasyir - for ISIS fighters, who have won increasingly large portions of territory in Iraq and Syria.
The growing bond between local Islamist movements and ISIS is an increasingly debated and "sensitive" issue among Indonesian citizens, most of who are opposed to the Caliphate and ISIS. In mid-July 2014, more than a thousand people gathered at a mosque in Solo Baru (Sukoharjo regency) to attend a prayer meeting hosted by the Islamic Daulah Support Forum. After having recited prayers, those present publically declared their support for ISIS, claiming to be ready to go to Iraq and Syria. In the following days a similar "baptism" was also celebrated in Malang (East Java). The commonality of purpose between JAT and ISIS is a source of further concern for Jakarta: the Islamist movement has over three thousand loyalists in the provinces of West Java, Central Java, Greater Jakarta, Sumatra, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) and Banten.
11/08/2017 11:32:00 SYRIA - IRAQ – UNITED NATIONS
UN report: Islamic State threat remains despite military blows
The jihadist group continues to "motivate and enable" global attacks and funnel funds to supporters. Growing attacks in Europe and Asia confirm demonstrate that Isis is an international threat. Special care should be given to radicalized minors returning home after undergoing advanced IS training.
20/10/2016 09:50:00 IRAQ - SYRIA
Families of Mosul Isis leaders reach Raqqa in Syria. Doubts over who is helping them
The families of dozens of leaders of the Caliphate were transported on board buses to Raqqa without running into roadblocks, or being discovered by the Allies inspection flights. Suspicions that they are being aided by Turkey and the US. Iraqis think that the victory of Mosul will be "a Pyrrhic victory": the leaders will not be caught, or questioned, and no one will ever know who their secret allies are.
19/01/2017 18:55:00 IRAQ – SYRIA
Iraqi priest has “confidence and hope" in Mosul’s liberation
Fr Paul Thabit Mekko talks about the sense of expectation among the refugees from Mosul and the Nineveh plain. A small group has already visited their homes in the eastern liberated part of the city. Security in the liberated areas is necessary, so is a new form of administration and management. In 2016, Daesh lost a quarter of the territory it once controlled.
28/02/2017 14:11:00 SYRIA – IRAQ
The Islamic state morphing because of internal strife and a collapsing ideology
Greater disagreements within the caliphate are marked by recent territorial losses. The jihadist group fed on marketing its strategy of terror online, but has begun to crumble when faced with its first real battles. Yet, far from disappearing, the movement is reorganising to continue the fight. Deadly attacks can be expected as it renews itself.
Jakarta, hijab for policewomen gets go ahead to joy of extremist opposition
Gen. Haiti, Chief of police, has approved the use of hijab throughout the force. So far it was used only in Aceh, the only province where sharia is law. Satisfaction among members of the pro-Islamic parties. PKS politician: "Apex of a long battle."
EGYPT – LEBANON
Muslims and Christians meet in Cairo for Jerusalem, 'the cause of causes'
A conference was held on 16-17 January at al-Azhar. Many prominent figures from Lebanon took part, including the Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al-Rahi. The Arab world is divided between "complicit passivity" and "noisy but ineffective speeches". For a former Lebanese premier, coordinated actions are needed to ensure greater efficacy on behalf of Jerusalem’s "pluralistic identity " and "religious freedom". Card Al-Rahi called for joint prayers, Islamic-Christian interfaith solidarity in the Arab world, and support for the Palestinians.
15/01/2018 LEBANON - SYRIA
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.