10/10/2011, 00.00
INDONESIA

Java: church attacker, spiritual son of the Islamic leader Baasyr

Mathias Hariyadi
Beni Asri has confessed to having been "baptized" with the "baiat" a particular form of oath, by Abu Bakar Baasyr, a controversial religious leader of the country. His fellow "baiat" another young man who died in a suicide attack against the police.
Jakarta (AsiaNews) - Beni Asri, one of the country's best-known Islamic extremists, arrested after the attack on the Christian church of Solo (Java) last September, has admitted strong links with the leading Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Baasyr. (09/25/2011 At least three killed in a suicide attack on church in Indonesia). Beni Asri has been accused of planning several suicide bombings in Indonesia, and in particular of being the organizer of the attack against the Solo church. Beni Asri was arrested Sept. 30 in his parents' house in Solok, West Sumatra province.

Beni Asri (photo: the day of the arrest) made a crucial testimony to Indonesian security services investigators who are trying to trace the roots of radical fundamentalism that is spreading among young people. Beni Asri confirmed he had been spiritually "baptized" by Abu Bakar Baasyr after a short course of prayers and Islamic teachings in Cirebon, West Java, in 2008.

Beni Asri, a native of Solok, does not have a high level of education, he attended junior high school, and from 2003 to 2006 earned a living by selling clothes and toys in various markets around the island of Java. His life changed radically after coming into contact, by chance, with two men: Agung Nur Alam and Syarif, in Cirebon, where he used to sell toys in the markets during night parties.

Syarif, the perpetrator of the suicide attack on the Cirebon Police Headquarters, was killed in the attack, which injured several officers. "Beni Asri was very committed, he followed the sermons held continuously by Abi Bakar Baasyr in the An Nur Mosque in Cirebon," said a police spokesman, Gen. Anton Bachrul Alam. "Beni Asri received 'baiat' and his companion was Agung Nur Alam". The "baiat" is a spiritual oath, professed by young novices in front of their spiritual director and teacher, after a period of intense preparation and physical and moral training. According to the spokesman, Beni Asri was to an extent "kidnapped" by Agung Nur Alasm, Syarif and a third person, Sueb, to bring him to Abu Bakir Baasyr.

Beni Asri recieved "baiat" along with 15 other young unknown men. The only thing he remembers about that day and the "oath" is that he must "be loyal to all that the Amir (the spiritual leader, Ed) tells him to do, based on the Koran and Sunnah of the Prophet, in the effort to achieve the implementation of Sharia. " After the "baiat" Beni Asri was as an active member of the Jemaah Anshorut Tauhid (Jat), an organization founded by radical Muslim Abu Bakar Baasyr after having abandoned, , his former fundamentalist group, the Indonesian Mujahidin Council (MMI) after strong divisions.

According to General Alam, Beni Asri was subjected to a brainwashing to inculcate a false idea of jihad (holy war spiritual) in a series of courses held by Baasyr in the Zaitun mosque of Cirebon. Considered the Amir of the Jemaah Islamiyah, Baasyr’s meetings, which were attended by about thirty young men.

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