Indonesia: Islamist group plans church bombing on Good Friday

From 5 years ago.

Hey! Surabaya Angie, pay attention.

University rectors have set up teams to counter indoctrination drives amid reports of students going missing in North Sumatra and East Java, presumably lured to become NII devotees.

”I am aghast over how this massive movement went undetected,” the chief of the Constitutional Court, Mohammad Mahfud, said.

”They have recruited tens of thousands of followers without being detected.”

The Co-ordinating Minister for Security, Djoko Suyanto, described NII as a threat to Indonesian sovereignty while the President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, called for a national effort to stop rising radicalisation, although he did not mention NII by name.

”We are witnessing a radical movement in this country,” Dr Yudhoyono said. ”We should not be apathetic and passive. We should share the responsibility of saving our nation and protecting the people.”

Former NII adherents said the group organises like a pyramid marketing scheme, with new members rewarded with promotion for recruiting others. Members are asked to devote their finances to the group, raise donations and even commit crimes to raise money, as well as proselytise for an Islamic state.

”When you join, you make a declaration pledging to quit the Republic of Indonesia and become a member of the Islamic State of Indonesia,” said one former member, who asked not to be identified.

He said NII followers raised about $500,000 a month in Java alone and had more than $100 million in assets, mostly land holdings. Just how strong NII’s membership remains uncertain, but estimates range between tens of thousands and 500,000 people.

NII, which has been outlawed since the 1950s, has its roots in the Darul Islam movement that led a militia campaign for Indonesia, a secular country, to become an Islamic state after its independence in 1949.

A terrorism analyst, Sidney Jones, of the International Crisis Group, said NII was highly factionalised. ”It’s basically a crooked business. It does preach for an Islamic state but it’s mostly about raising money. It has strong links to very powerful people.”

The huge Al Zaytun boarding school, operated by a cleric Panji Gumilang, also known as Abu Toto, is believed by authorities to be a major centre of NII activity and fund-raising.

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Religious Atrocities


The renewed concerns about Negara Islam Indonesia (NII), or Indonesian Islamic State, follow the disruption last week of a plot to explode a 150-kilogram bomb near a Jakarta church during Good Friday services.

Pepi Fernando, the alleged mastermind of the plot, is a former NII member, and up to six of the suspected members of his cell were from a prestigious state-run Islamic university where NII is thought to have engaged in an aggressive recruitment campaign.

Confrontation with non-believers? How rude! They clearly haven’t been listening to the accommodationists.

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