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 »

Escalating Muslim Reaction to Terrorist Bombings in Indonesia

by Mark Woodward* Since March 15 Indonesia has experienced another wave of bombings, including a suicide attack on the Az Zikro mosque located in a police compound in Cirebon, Central Java. The bomber struck during Friday prayers. Other targets have included a book bomb mailed to Ulil Abshar Abdallah, the leader of Jaringan Islam Liberal (The Liberal Islamic Network), the offices of Densus 88, an elite anti-terrorism unit, a natural gas pipeline and Christian churches […] Read more »

Police Power, Soft Power and Extremist Sub-culture in Indonesia

by Mark Woodward, Ali Amin and  Inayah Rohmaniyah* In recent months, Indonesian security forces, including the US-trained Detachment 88, have proven to be increasingly effective in locating, capturing or killing suspected terrorists. But police power alone will never defeat a deeply entrenched extremist sub-culture.  Soft power is a crucial component as well, perhaps even more important than enforcement. The deaths of Noordin Top on September 17, 2009 and Dulmatin on March 9 of this year, […] Read more »