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Islam,Terrorism and Jihad ( 31 March 2021, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Terror Attacks in Church in Indonesia after ISIS Preacher Freed In January

By New Age Islam Special Correspondent

31 March 2021

Surabaya Center Pentecostal Church was one of three Indonesian churches attacked by terrorists on Sunday morning.


A suicide terror attack at a church in Makassar during Palm Sunday mass injuring 20 people was carried out by a newly wed couple belonging to the extremist organisation Jamah Ansar-ud-daulah (JAD) which was involved in Bali bombings in 2002.

But it is also to be noted that the attacks occurred two and a half months after the controversial preacher Abu Bakar Bashir, with his links to Bali bombings and ISIS was released from prison in January 2021 after serving a reduced sentence.

Abu Bakar Bashir who was formerly associated with Jama'eh Islamia had formed his new group Jama'ah Ansarut Tauheed in 2008 and in 2014 he had pledged allegiance to the ISIS leader Abu Bakar Al Baghdadi. In 2016, first terror attacks linked to the ISIS were carried out in Indonesoa. After that the ISIS spread its network across the 2018 again two attacks were carried out in Yogyakarta and Surabaya killing and injuring dozens.

One of two suicide bombers who attacked an Indonesian cathedral on Mar 28, 2021 belonged to a pro-Islamic State extremist group blamed for other church bombings in Indonesia and the Philippines. (Photo: AP)


The attack in Surabaya had first given hint of family-based terror attacks in which a family took their children as young as 8 to carry out an attack. The attack carried out last Sunday was also carried out by a newly wed couple aged 23 and 25.

Abu Bakar Bashir had been sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment but his sentence was reduced due to his age (83) and he was released in January 2021. However, in jail he showed no remorse when he was asked to abandon his jihadi ideology for leniency in punishment. Still the court reduced his punishment.

Abu Bashir had been in exile for 17 years during Suharto regime due his demands for Shariah rule in Indonesia. He is the founder of a boarding school in Central Java. He is known for his extremist ideas.

Earlier a radical preacher Aman Abdur Rahman was sentenced to death for his involvement in Bali bombings in wbich 202 people had died.

Since 2002, terror attacks have been carried out by the Al Qaida affiliated groups. Attacks and bombings have been carried out in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2009,2016, 2017, 2018 and 2021. After 2014, the ISIS has spread its tentacles in Indonesia. About 30 local extremist groups have pledged allegiance to the ISIS.The Indinesian anti-terrorism police claims to have imprisoned 800 jihadis and killed more than 100 jihadis after Bali bombings but they can't explain why the extremist groups thrive in the country.

The Indonesia police can also not explain why another extremist preacher Kholid Abu Bakar is at large. During the civil war in Syria Kholid had attempted to go to Syria with family to join the ISIS but the police had foiled his attempt and deported him back home. But he was not arrested. Now he is absconding and is a threat to the country.

Extremism and terrorism is on the rise in Indonesia due to the spread of the extremist ideolgy by the preachers like Anan Abdur Rahman, Abu Bakae Bashir and Kholid Abdul Bakar. The extent of the influence of these preachers on the beliefs of the Muslim youngsters can be gauged from the fact that the perpetrators of the Sunday attacks were a newly wed couple in their early twenties.

Instead of starting their life as a happy couple they chose to kill themselves for the paradise promised by these preachers. In 2018, a couple had carried out a suicide attack with their minor children in the hope of going to paradise together.

Despite tall claims made by Indonesian anti-terror police, extremist ideology is spreading fast in Indonesia due to intriguingly lakadaisical approach of the police and the judiciary to terrorists and terrorism. Since, extremist preacher Abu Bajar Bashir runs a boarding school, more and more youth will come out with extremist beliefs and get involved in terrorist activities.

Unless, extremism is rooted out from the education system and extremist preachers are reigned in, Muslim youth will continue to be exploited by the ISIS and other terrorist organisations and malign Islam.


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