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 »

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 »

News from Indonesia: Basyir charged with supporting Aceh terrorist camp

by Chris Lundry Indonesian police have charged Indonesian cleric Abu Bakar Basyir with supporting terrorism for his role in the the Jemaah Islamiyah training camp in Aceh. He has been accused of participating in planning and funding the project and ordering others to commit terrorist acts, and police reported finding progress reports and videos from the camp. The training camp, led by Javanese who came to Aceh thinking they would find support, was broken up […] Read more »

Turning Up the Heat on Wahhabi Colonialism

by Mark Woodward* Over the last year it has become increasingly apparent to progressive Indonesian Muslim intellectuals and political leaders that there is a clear association between the spread of Wahhabi religious teachings and political extremism. In the weeks following the Ritz-Carlton and J. W. Marriott bombings in Jakarta, discourse about the dangers of Wahhabism has intensified because it is now clear that Wahhabi-oriented Indonesian extremists carried out the attacks. It is also clear that […] 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 »