An Achilles Heel for Saudi Wahhabis?

by Mark Woodward* On September first the British on-line paper The Independent reported on alleged plans by the Saudi Arabian government to demolish the Prophet Muhammad’s tomb and move his body to an unmarked grave. The Prophet’s tomb is located in the mosque he built in Madinah in the seventh century and is the second most important Muslim holy site. Millions of pilgrims visit every year.   The Independent’s story was based on a 61 page […] Read more »

ISIL Influence is Fueling Sectarianism in Indonesia

by Mark Woodward* [Editor's note: Yesterday there were news reports that an ISIL-inspired plot to bomb a Carlsberg brewery in Malaysia was foiled.] Iraq and Syria have become magnets for Indonesian jihadists in much the same way that Afghanistan was in the 1990s. Over the past five years support of Salafi jihadi causes has steadily declined.  But lately the exploits of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have injected new energy into […] Read more »

Aftermath of a Buddhist Shrine Bombing in Indonesia

by Chris Lundry On Sunday evening, August 4, a small bomb detonated at the Ekayana Buddhist shrine in West Jakarta, Indonesia (story here). The blast injured three people and damaged the building, although if the second bomb found at the scene had detonated the toll likely would have been higher and the damage worse; the bombing was timed to coincide with well-attended sermon. Immediate speculation centered on the act as retaliation for the Burmese treatment […] Read more »

Toppling Assad in Syria: A Western Plot?

By Chris Lundry Indonesian Islamist site syabab.com featured a story on Syria’s embattled leader Bashar al-Assad which states that his looming demise is the culmination of a “Western Plot.” This “news” is fascinating for those who have paid even just a little attention to events as they unfold in Syria. Didn’t the US and the West equivocate for months as Assad murdered his own people? Was that part of the plan? Was part of the […] Read more »

Extremist Opposition to Indonesia’s Densus 88

by Chris Lundry It’s been an active 2013 so far for anti-terrorism efforts in Indonesia, but actions of the authorities continue to spur debate. On December 20, 2012, armed civilians shot and killed four members of the Indonesian Police Mobile Brigades and injured three others in Poso, Sulawesi. The police response was quick, and several suspects were rounded up and allegedly tortured, including some found innocent of the charges. But that was not the end […] Read more »

Indonesia’s President, Commander of the Crusaders!

By Chris Lundry Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) has been branded a commander of the crusaders following the announcement that Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain will be awarding him the Honorary Knight of the Grand Cross of the Order of Bath. The award has angered extremist Islamist groups, some of whom are still simmering over the recent arrest of 11 people suspected of terrorism throughout Java and the uncovering of plots to bomb […] Read more »

New White Paper: Hate Speech and the Indonesian Islamic Defenders Front

The CSC has released a new white paper entitled Hate Speech and the Indonesian Islamic Defenders Front by Mark Woodward, Mariani Yahya, Inayah Rohmaniyah, Diana Murtaugh Coleman, Ali Amin and Chris Lundry. The paper looks at hate speech tactics used by the terrorist group Front Pembala Islam (FPI, Islamic Defenders Front) against Christian minorities, the Ahmadiyah sect of Islam, and Muslim organizations and intellectuals supporting religious freedom. Efforts by Indonesian security forces to counter international […] Read more »

Hate Speech and the Indonesian Islamic Defenders Front

Front Pembela Islam (Islamic Defenders Front – FPI) is a domestic Indonesian terrorist organization. Its goal is the implementation of Shari’ah at national and local levels in Indonesia. It presents itself as an ally of government security forces in their attempts to control sin and vice. It uses hate speech to motivate and legitimize violent attacks on organizations and individuals it considers to be sinful or religiously deviant. It has targeted Christian minorities and members […] Read more »

A Different Take on the ICG Indonesia Report

by Mark Woodward This ICG report recently reviewed by Chris Lundry is another example of that organization doing what it does best, providing detailed information about the activities of extremist groups linked to Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) in some way. But in my view the degree to which JI poses a threat to Indonesia has always been overestimated and there are more important developments in the country related to extremism and terrorism. The Indonesian security forces […] Read more »

Extremists Rebrand the Conflict in Afghanistan

by Chris Lundry Indonesian extremist site Prisoner of Joy recently posted the announcement by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan that operations against the United States and its allies will now be named Al Farooq Operations. From the post: The invaders should be made aware that the names of these operations are not merely accidental rather they have a special meaning and interpretation. This new name, however, may carry broader connotations of conflict within the Muslim […] Read more »