Possible New JI/AQ Offshoot Claims Jakarta Bombings (updated)

by Chris Lundry As reported yesterday by some Indonesian media outlets, a new group calling itself Tandzim  al-Qo’idah Indonesia has released an “official” statement taking responsibility for the Jakarta bombings of 17 July. There are some interesting elements in the statement, although whether it is genuine remains in question. If true, the statement represents not only an admission of responsibility for the bombings but it also announces a new extremist group in Indonesia.  If real, it is likely a […] Read more »

Bombing Reactions by Indonesian Groups are Telling

by Mark Woodward On 17 July 17 2009, Indonesia and the world were shocked by another round of terrorist attacks. Two powerful bombs exploded in the J.W. Marriott and Ritz- Carlton hotels in Jakarta, Indonesia. Another was found and defused in a hotel room the bombers had rented. I am currently visiting Indonesia and have observed initial reactions by ordinary Indonesians as well as by various religious/political organizations.  Two different kinds of responses by the organizations are telling. […] Read more »

Politics and Women’s Headwear in Indonesia

by Chris Lundry Before last week’s bombings, Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, completed a presidential election.  Similar to the 2004 election (which I monitored with the Carter Center), there was the requisite hand wringing in the Western media about the influence of Islamist parties such as the Prosperous Justice Party (Partai Keadilan Sejahtera, PKS) and the National Mandate Party (Partai Amanat Nasional, PAN). Some of it focused on the supposed emergence of the headscarf (jilbab in Indonesian, […] Read more »

Ending the Yellow Monotony

by Steven R. Corman At last, the AP is reporting, someone is finally going to review our moronic “terror alert system” (TAS). Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is expected to appoint a panel to reevaluate the system and determine whether it should be changed, or possibly eliminated. Good for her.  The existing system, put in place shortly after the 9/11 attacks, have five levels of “threat” of terrorist attacks.  The AP story reports: Currently, the […] Read more »

Qaradawi’s New Take on Jihad

By Jeffry Halverson The latest book by Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Fiqh al-Jihad, has received considerable attention of late in the press and blogosphere.  For those of you who may not know him, Qaradawi is arguably the most influential Sunni cleric (alim) in the Muslim world today, widely known for his many writings, rulings (fatawa), and Arabic satellite television show Shariah and Life on al-Jazeera.  Although an Egyptian graduate of the (once) venerable al-Azhar and associate […] Read more »