Family Terrorism – Indonesia Has Given Terrorism A New Meaning, And The West May Not Be Ready For It

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Jun 04 2018
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The news of ISIS or Islamic State is quite rare nowadays, after Russia – follows by the U.S. – decided to wipe them out. However, their ideology is still very much alive and kicking. You can bomb the hell out of the terrorists, but you certainly cannot kill the ideology. Naturally, 1-year after the London Bridge attack, the terrorist threat level remains “severe” in Britain.


The 2017 London Bridge attack a year ago on June 3rd saw 8 deaths and 48 injuries. The British interior ministry said, on the first anniversary of an attack, said the threat posed by Islamist militants to UK is expected to remain high for the next 2 years. The threat level was raised to “critical” – its highest level – twice in 2017.


But Britain, and the West for that matter, has yet to see the worst of the terrorism. If Indonesia’s latest terror acts was an indicator, the world’s most populous Muslim country has given a new meaning to the business of terrorism. Not many people realised the significant of the new development in Indonesia on May 13, 2018.

Mahathir Stunning Victory

That’s because the whole Southeast Asia, including the world, was glued to something else which was more mind-blowing. Three days earlier, Malaysia created a new Guinness World Record, after Mahathir Mohamad was sworn in as the world’s oldest prime minister. The 93-year-old man confidently brought down a 61-year-old corrupt government of Barisan Nasional.


From CNN to folks in remote village of Sarawak, everybody was talking about the incredible victory of Mahathir, the same way the Brexit and Donald Trump’s victories stunned the world. But in the city of Surabaya, three families – including kids – blew themselves up in a country which has long struggled with home-grown extremism.


In the May 13 terror attacks, at least 13 people were killed and 40 injured after a family of six – including a 9-year old and 12-year old – launched suicide attacks on three churches. On the same day, a mother and her 17-year-old daughter were killed in a nearby suburb after a bomb handled by the family’s father detonated prematurely. It didn’t stop there.

Surabaya Indonesia Terror Attack - Suicide Bombing

On the following day, a family of five detonated a bomb at the entrance of Surabaya’ police headquarters. The Indonesian authorities have identified sleeper cells of the Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), a local terrorist group loyal to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), as the source of the terror attacks. A total of 37 suspects in connection with the suicide bombings have been arrested.


Speaking at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, an annual gathering of top defence officials from across the globe, Indonesian Minister of Defence Ryamizard Ryacudu attributed the phenomenon to what he called “third-generation terrorism.” This refers to the spread of ISIS ideology from Middle East to Europe and Asia via social media, informal networks and foreign fighters.


Delfin Lorenzana, secretary of national defence for the Philippines, on the other hand said that the latest terror attack in Indonesia is “a new development in Southeast Asia, something local terrorists have never done before.” Both Indonesian and Philippine defense officials have since warned the world of the dangers of terrorism carried out by families.

Surabaya Indonesia Terror Attack - Suicide Bombing - 2

Lorenzana also highlighted new patterns of recruitment from ISIS-inspired organizations – “The new recruits are educated, young, and from middle class backgrounds” who are benefiting from digital networks.” The emergence of cryptocurrencies has made recruiting easier. Abu Sayyaf and Maute reportedly used electronic transfers to funnel around US$1.5 million for their 2017 siege of Malawi city.


Interestingly, church attacks have been gaining traction in Malaysia too although they were limited to smaller scale of using petrol bombs, largely due to previous Najib regime that encouraged and endorsed extremism. In January this year, petrol bombs, were thrown at a church (Chinese Methodist Church) and a Hindu temple in Kota Baru.


Malaysian Ex-PM Najib Razak was himself caught praising and glorifying the terror group ISIS back in 2014. He had called on 3-million of his UMNO Malay nationalist party to emulate the bravery of a Middle Eastern terror group that defeated an Iraqi force outnumbering it nearly 30 to one.


At least 1,489 Indonesian citizens have joined ISIS, or have left home trying to link up with the extremist group in Syria. The number of Malaysians who have done the same is smaller but the potential damage is equally disastrous. A Malaysian militant housewife had planned to run over voters on polling day (May 9th), before her plan was thwarted by Malaysian police.


The 51-year-old Malaysian woman, who has two sons, who began joining ISIS-affiliated chat groups in 2014, planned to head to Syria if her attack was successful. She was supposed to plough into voters at a polling station near her house in Puchong with her car filled with gas canisters and explosives. She reportedly turned to extremism after her husband suffered a stroke 3 years ago.


In Europe, the situation could be worse than Indonesia if family terrorism starts gaining popular in refugee-friendly countries such as Germany, France and Britain. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has imported at least 1.5-million Syrian refugees or migrants. Essentially, Germany is a time-bomb waiting to explode. And when they do, the West may not be ready for them.

Irresistible - Angela Merkel Taking Selfie With Refugees


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