Beware of ISIS Group Advanced Action in Indonesia


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The terrorist suicide bombing in Kampung Melayu (26/5/2017) clearly shows that Indonesia is the target of the radical ISIS group movement. US suicide bombers and INS, described by National Police Chief Tito Karnavian, as members of Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), a radical group of cells in Indonesia supporting ISIS.

The relationship between JAD and ISIS takes place through the intermediary of Bahrun Naim who is presumably at the Syrian Raqqa. The close relationship of Bahrun Naim with JAD is explained by former Head of BNPT Ansyaad Mbai that Bahrun Naim was a member of the JAD group before leaving for Syria to join ISIS. In Indonesia, JAD is affiliated with a convicted terrorist, Aman Abdurrahman who is currently a Napi in Nusakambangan Prison.

Before action in Kampung Melayu, JAD group previously took action in Cicendo Bandung. Yayat Cahdiyat as the perpetrator failed to carry out his duties Because the bombs that were brought first explode. Yayat who had escaped to the Arjuna urban office was finally shot dead by police.

JAD became aggressive in acts of terror, especially to the police, after its leader Zaenal Anshori was arrested. The actions taken as revenge for the arrest included police shootings in Tuban and bribes in Banyumas.

Driving factors

The threat of terrorism among ISIS groups in Indonesia is not just paranoia or engineering. Strengthening ISIS in Southeast Asia is already evident. The action in Marawi Philippines shows that the strength of the cells of radical groups affiliated with ISIS is quite disturbing.

The actions of the ISIS group in the Philippines, and elsewhere such as Britain and Egypt, are not separated from ISIS’s increasingly vulnerable ISIS in Syria and Iraq which are the main bases. Pressure on the main base makes ISIS must share its power elsewhere in order to exist. This is confirmed by the order from ISIS officials to their followers to take action in their respective areas of origin.

The next driving factor is technological progress. Currently ISIS includes successful in spreading the influence of ideology through the help of internet technology. Some cases of acts of terror in Indonesia such as those that occurred in the Church of Santo Yosep Medan (28/08/2016) and the attack on police in Tangerang (20/10/2016), is one of the evidence of ISIS doctrine succeeded, even able to move someone to take action individual. Of course, technological progress will also be utilized by the ISIS group for recruitment, regeneration, training, and even for the control of acts of terror.

The third factor is the presence of radical sleeper cells in Indonesia. This sleep cell consisted of ex-terrorism prisoners, WNI sympathizers of ISIS who returned from Syria, and other sympathizers. BNPT at the Advisory Prevention of Radical Terrorism and ISIS among the Maya World Entrepreneurs, at Hotel Alana Yogyakarta, (2/3/2017) stated that there are currently 250 prisoners of terrorism spread in 77 prisons and 1 rutan. Former terrorism inmate 600 people, but known to exist only 184 people, 416 ex-terrorism prisoner is not known of its existence.

An example of a prisoner who after a free re-terror is a terrorist bombing Cicendo Bandung, Yayat Cahdiyat, who was sentenced to three years in prison. After free Yayat joins JAD. Juhanda, the bomber in the Church of Oikumene Samarinda (13/11/2016) is also a former terrorism prisoner. Juhanda has served a 3.5-year sentence and was released in 2014. This former terrorism prisoner, if he does not get a normal place in society, will return to his group and become sleeping cells waiting for momentum to react.

The Role of Police and Society

Police efforts to prevent acts of terror have been continued. The series of arrests to the suspected members of the terrorist group became an effort to prevent terror acts from happening. Nevertheless, there are still vulnerabilities exploited by terrorist groups to hide, prepare, and run the action. The gap is to utilize the community as a hiding place.

Police would have been trying hard to detect the existence and activities of people who potentially perform acts of terror. Police detection can be through monitoring the flow of communication and the flow of financial transactions. Technological advances and cooperation between agencies (for example with BIN and PPATK) can be exploited by police intelligence to detect radical group movements leading to acts of terror.

Great challenges will arise if the group uses conventional means, not using communication tools, conducting financial transactions with a courier, and residing and behaving with the common people. If this is the case then the role of society must be optimized, especially by activating and improving social radar. Social anomalies will easily be read by the public if people want to care about the environment.

But if society turns off its social radar, and activates its “weapon to be intolerant to other people”, then society has indirectly built the ideal protection for terrorist groups that are finally waiting for the right momentum to act. No wonder that terrorist acts, families and people who have lived with perpetrators will be surprised, do not believe that the “good” actors turned out to be perpetrators of terror acts.

Serious Threats

ISISaffiliated radical groups in Indonesia are a serious threat. This group became part of a transnational movement whose acts are very cruel, such as suicide bombings, in order to realize its interests.

Some acts of terror that occurred in Indonesia have been recognized by ISIS, including the latest suicide bombing action in Kampung Melayu Jakarta. This shows that there ISIS interests in Indonesia.

Indonesia is a strategic place for ISIS. If successful perform the action, the existence of ISIS will be more proven. This is also facilitated by the existence of radical groups in Indonesia that exist and create the identity polarization in society. The divided society gave the terrorist group wide access to free entry.

A serious threat from ISIS in Indonesia will be detected and prevented by the Police, but of course the Police can not work alone. The role of society is very important. The vulnerability gap as the entrance for terror groups to hide, kaderirasi and prepare action, must be closed. The role of the community to cover the vulnerability of terrorist groups can be done if the society is united within the framework of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia, Pancasila and the spirit of the diversity in Indonesia.

*) Observer of intelligence and terrorism, a graduate of Intelligence Studies Intelligence University of Indonesia.