Indonesia has been the home of a Yemeni imam (I refuse to call these people clerics) by the name of Abu Bakr Bashir. The Indonesian authorities have been extremely half-hearted about putting him away for good… or better yet, returning him to Yemen. Bashir did a short amount of time for his role in the Bali bombings, but nothing seems to stick to this particular very dangerous man. It is as if the authorities are in the tank with him.
Under the rule of both Soeharto and Sukarno, Indonesia had remained a somewhat moderate country. However, that changed as other leaders took over. It is highly likely that Warranto was somehow involved in the invasion of East Timor, yet it was Warranto who provided for the Indonesian Islamic youth in Jakarta to protect the churches from potential bombers. I have often referred to the martyrdom of a young man who found a suspicious package, grabbed it and ran, but the package went off in his hands. That young man embodies the real meaning of martyrdom.
Since at least the 1990s there has been an explosion of Islamic jihad in Indonesia with an exponential increase in the number of bombings, etc. etc. including the beheading of 3 young Christian girls in the Aceh province. The real problem is that when these jihadists are caught, and put in prison, they also get released at some time in the future. This is now a very big potential problem as shown by this report that has just been released.
The jihadists who are in prison have been interviewed, and many of them have indicated that they will continue their jihad activity. Some have even stated that as soon as they get out they will attempt to bomb the U.S. embassy in Jakarta:
He says a group of hardcore jihadis are preparing to leave Indonesian jails over the next 18 months, and some of them say they will bomb Western targets.
“Several of the men we interviewed hold this view. One of them said to us directly that if he was released from prison today, he would bomb the US embassy tomorrow,” he said.
These men say they no longer need the backing of a large terror organisation like the now defunct Jemaah Islamiah, or JI, which orchestrated the Bali bombing in 2002, killing more than 200 people including 88 Australians.
That operation took three months to plan, involved 20 people and cost about $40,000.
A growing number now call themselves freelance terrorists, willing to try smaller, more random attacks.
“We’re no longer dealing with organisations or organisational hubs, we’re dealing with individuals, some call them lone wolves, some call them freelancers,” Dr Ungerer said.
“Nonetheless, individuals who will go out and simply conduct operations in groups of two or three, which is pretty much all it took to do the Marriott hotel bombing in 2009.
“It means that the threat is not going away, if anything, it’s getting worse.”