Indonesian Pro-IS supporters on social media in 2022: Surviving not thriving
Indonesian supporters of the Islamic State (IS) on social media are in survival mode in the face of successive waves of pressure from the government, tech companies and civil society. Though still active across a range of platforms, pro-IS voices are smaller, weaker and more contested than ever before. Beyond occasional spikes of activity, Indonesian IS supporters have lost their narrative punch on social media and are struggling to produce new, attractive content as their leaders and propagandists have been arrested. Social media will still provide opportunities for pro-IS supporters, but an online revival is unlikely unless the multi-pronged pressure on extremists is eased.
The Islamic State (IS) revolutionised the use of social media and the internet for terrorism when it first emerged in 2014. Building on the online foundations laid by its jihadist forebears, particularly Al Qaeda (AQ), IS’ formidable propaganda machine used social media to amplify the group’s public presence by distributing flashy propaganda, grisly execution videos and speeches by its various leaders across platforms like Telegram, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Indonesian pro-IS supporters were part of the group’s skyrocketing social media fortunes as it peaked from 2014 to 2017. Though pro-IS supporters comprise a tiny proportion of the Indonesian population either online or offline, social media platforms have provided them with broad reach to have an outsized public voice. During the height of IS’ physical and virtual ‘caliphate’ (state), thousands of Indonesian supporters set up vibrant communities across various social media platforms – including Twitter, Telegram, Facebook, Google+ and Instagram – triumphantly lauding IS’ conquests in the Middle East and confidently predicting its reach would extend to Indonesia.
But over the past five years, Indonesian pro-IS supporters’ online presence has been gradually reduced and is now arguably at its lowest ebb. Following repeated clampdowns by authorities, pro-IS Telegram groups and channels which once had several thousand members are now a fraction of their former sizes and supporters are under constant threat of bans across all platforms. IS’ narrative has suffered due to battlefield losses, with dreams of a worldwide caliphate replaced by calls to hold firm in the face of seemingly never-ending adversity. Some pro-IS supporters have even begun turning on each other online, engaging in increasingly heated, but ultimately pointless, theological debates.
This decline has been the culmination of years’ long efforts by governments, social media platforms and civil society, which, while being slow to start, have transformed what was once an open and permissive online environment for pro-IS supporters into one which is now increasingly narrow, watchful and hostile. The Indonesian online environment has inevitably been shaped by global trends – particularly actions taken by Western governments and foreign tech giants – but Indonesian authorities and civil society groups have also had a critical role to play in further adding to the pressure on pro-IS supporters online.
Virtual Crackdowns: Narrowing Space Online
Initially, social media offered Indonesian pro-IS supporters the ability for their relatively tiny community to tap into mainstream audiences. The relatively free, unrestricted space offered by social media platforms enabled pro-IS supporters to control the public narrative around their activities, particularly in relation to attacks overseas. IS’ foreign fighters and supporters, including Indonesians, were akin to modern day influencers, posting battlefield and lifestyle updates across their social media accounts. Through this social media outreach, IS successfully recruited Indonesians from various walks of life, including some not traditionally associated with extremism – such as government officials and female migrant workers.
But since around 2016, the space for IS online has narrowed significantly. Takedowns of IS accounts and content are now commonplace on Telegram and Facebook, which have established moderation teams to quickly and effectively remove pro-IS accounts and content. In these efforts, platforms are working hand-in-glove with some law enforcement efforts, such as Europol-led takedowns targeting IS’ presence on Telegram in 2018 and 2019 and collaborating with Indonesian counterterrorism officials to shut down Indonesian pro-IS accounts. Wherever Indonesian IS supporters gather online, they are under constant, close watch by tech administrators, academics and authorities.
Despite initial scepticism of the ‘whack-a-mole’ approach to account and content moderation, these crackdowns have taken a heavy toll on the Indonesian pro-IS community online with membership of Indonesian IS Telegram chat groups – generally a good gauge of the overall state of the community online – falling drastically from around 8,000 members on the most popular groups in 2015 to around 1,000 in 2017 and now an average of just 200-300 in 2022. Some chat groups and channels have also lost administrators, leaving them dormant.
Crackdowns across social media have also gradually corralled the Indonesian pro-IS community onto a handful of platforms. Telegram still serves as a somewhat diminished focal point for the most hardcore Indonesian IS supporters, particularly to access official propaganda. Some IS supporters have also re-joined more established mainstream platforms, like Facebook, Whatsapp and Instagram – though many would likely be active on these platforms even without their IS affiliation. Meanwhile, brief experiments with more obscure platforms – TamTam, Hoop and RocketChat – have failed to reach a critical mass of users, likely because they were not as user-friendly as Telegram or Facebook and in some cases were even more prone to taking down pro-IS accounts.
Still, the diminished Indonesian pro-IS community is maintaining a dogged presence on these platforms. At least two dozen Telegram channels and chat groups continue to actively share IS propaganda and encourage discussion among members. Key Facebook and Instagram accounts – including those belonging to Indonesian pro-IS supporters being held in refugee camps in northern Syria – are frequently revived after takedowns. Supporters are also more judicious in what they post online, particularly on large platforms like Facebook, steering clear of overt references to IS and editing multimedia to avoid automated content bans. Survival appears to be now equally or possibly more important than proselytisation for many IS supporters.
Real-World Crackdowns: Draining Content, Suffocating Narratives, Detaining Operatives
Even as the size and reach of the Indonesian pro-IS community began to shrink online from 2016, it could still initially rely on the volume of IS’ propaganda and attractiveness of the group’s narrative to shore up the allegiance of existing or remaining supporters. IS’ battlefield successes and the establishment of its fledgling proto state in the Middle East, alongside devastating attacks overseas, were a central feature of its propaganda and served to highlight IS’ claimed value add in the jihadist realm: that it was succeeding where others (most notably Al Qaeda) had failed. In this way, IS’ virtual growth and popularity was always closely tied to its success as a terrorist group offline.
But from 2017 onwards, as Western-backed Iraqi and Kurdish forces finally began to reverse IS territorial gains and recaptured major cities, the group’s success stories and propaganda releases began to dry up. IS’ online media infrastructure was also decimated, with top propagandists killed in airstrikes. The official propaganda that remained became more monotone, with an almost exclusive focus on battlefield exploits and very little of the state-building content that had been a draw for many, including a large number of Indonesian supporters. IS had lost its big propaganda selling point – success – and this was directly impacting its propaganda output and online activities.
There has also been little for Indonesian pro-IS supporters to celebrate at home. Attacks, such as those in Jakarta (2016) and Surabaya (2018), largely came and went with expected fanfare but never provided momentum for a narrative of sustained success. Only the Central Sulawesi-based Eastern Indonesia Mujahidin (MIT) remained as an identifiable, organised pro-IS militant group – and even it seemed to feature more propaganda releases commemorating the deaths of martyrs than any tangible operational successes.
Some in the Indonesian pro-IS community have sought to plug these gaps by producing more local content. Since 2017, several local unofficial IS media outlets – Gen.554, Ash Shaff Media Foundation and An Najiyah Media Center, to name a few – have produced Indonesian versions of IS’ flashy propaganda. Many of these riffed on popular IS narratives and themes, such as brotherhood of the believers, patience in the face of (increasing) adversity for the group, the fallacy of democracy and even featured further calls for ‘hijrah’ (migration) to Syria and Iraq. Some also put a local spin on IS incitement by encouraging attacks on President Joko Widodo, government ministers, other Muslim groups and buildings like the presidential palace and parliament. Although these local efforts lacked the polish of official IS releases, they were still shared widely across chat groups and social media accounts.
But as with IS’ military losses in the Middle East since early 2019, real-world counterterrorism operations in Indonesia are regularly shutting down these fledgling efforts. Newer and more robust counterterrorism powers have enabled Indonesian police to target jihadi propaganda producers for arrest and prosecution due to incitement and the threat they pose to national unity. Most recently, An Najiyah’s operatives were rounded up in early 2022, abruptly heading off various plans the group had including forming an umbrella group with other media producers and launching a jihadist-themed video streaming service.
Still, some Indonesian pro-IS supporters who are stubbornly maintaining their presence online are also continuing to produce propaganda, albeit at an even smaller scale. Some are using platforms like Instagram to turn themselves into one-person propaganda outlets, producing simple, toned-down remixes of existing IS propaganda while adding their own logos and branding to give it a more official feel. A vast pool of tens of thousands of pieces of old IS content still circulates across the IS community online, providing the base content for these remixes. Narratives have shifted in line with global IS’ trends, with a focus on religious purification and longing for the return of IS’ caliphate taking centre stage. These efforts arguably go some way to keeping IS supporters engaged in the community, but are still a far cry from the excitement and energy generated by IS’ propaganda during its peak.
The numerous battlefield defeats and arrests of key figures are compounding the struggles already being faced by Indonesian pro-IS supporters’ fenced-in communities. Not only are they no longer able to propagate and reach into mainstream audiences with the same freedom they enjoyed previously, the lack of new IS content means they are now also struggling to provide attractive and motivating imagery and narratives even for their existing follower base.
Civil society: Pushing Back, Stoking Divisions
Globally, the narrowing of the IS community online and the draining of its content pools have left it weakened and more vulnerable to competition and disruption by other groups. In addition to governments and intelligence agencies, civil society groups are becoming increasingly involved in competing with IS voices online.
IS now faces more competition than ever in shared social media spaces. Mainstream groups – from Indonesia’s largest Muslim organisation Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) to start-up media groups like Ruangobrol – have established their own sophisticated networks of websites, social media accounts, apps and influencers, staking out a much larger place for themselves in public conversations on issues such as religion. Not all of this content is targeted at directly countering IS’ messages, but it does provide alternative voices and content which did not exist online before or were drowned out by more hardline voices.
The relative vacuum of new pro-IS content online has also enabled some nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) to spread their own material in pro-IS supporter social media spaces, reversing IS’ infiltration of mainstream social media. Debintal, a police-backed NGO providing support for former extremists, has produced several videos of imprisoned senior IS figures – including leading preachers such as Aman Abdurrahman, Abu Qutaibah and Zaenal Al Anshori – either criticising IS supporters’ continued calls for violence or renouncing their ties to the group all together.
These videos have, by far, generated more discussion among Indonesian pro-IS supporters than anything that IS itself has produced recently. For example, Facebook threads and Telegram chat group discussions regarding a video of Aman Abdurrahman criticising IS supporters racked up hundreds of comments and messages in the space of several hours in early April 2022.
These efforts are forcing some Indonesian IS supporters online on to the defensive. Some Debintal affiliates have successfully hijacked conversations in pro-IS chat groups, drawing supporters into hours-long debates of points of IS ideology or the group’s tactics, such as the targeting of civilians. Not only has this resulted in IS supporters being directly exposed to competing viewpoints – challenging their distorted worldview and potentially encouraging disengagement from the group – it is also probably distracting them from recruitment efforts and planning operations.
Greater infiltration of chat groups is also fostering increased distrust on pro-IS social media, prompting debilitating infighting among supporters. Debates between Indonesian pro-IS supporters over issues such as whether or not one is permitted to have an Indonesian identity card, can often end in both sides trading accusations of being part of deradicalisation programs. Theological differences have plagued the IS community for years, but the presumed presence of an increasing number of deradicalisation activists, spies and researchers is exacerbating these fissures and creating an overall more petty, combative online environment for pro-IS supporters.
For now, any return to IS’ glory days online in Indonesia appears a long shot. Governments around the world are imposing themselves even more forcefully into the online information environment – in part to combat broader societal issues such as the rise of mis- and dis-information online but also as part of the broader evolutionary process of states in adapting to and ultimately controlling new technologies. Even non-Western governments, such as Indonesia, are becoming far more savvy in accessing and exploiting data stores, creating an increasingly hostile online environment for anti-state movements like IS and its affiliate terrorist networks.
But Indonesia’s pro-IS community still has solid fundamentals which could be built upon to regain some ground online. Though marginalised for now, IS’ dogged, hardcore Indonesian supporters who are toughing out social media bans could still form the nucleus of a future online cadre of recruiters and propagandists (if they aren’t arrested in the meantime). The vast stores of extremist material still circulating within their confined online spaces could also provide the building blocks for attempts to revise and update the group’s ideology to be more appealing in a world where IS no longer holds territory, but where it could establish a more robust – albeit likely small – ‘virtual caliphate’.
Any potential Indonesian IS resurgence online likely will not take the form of a mass infiltration of mainstream social media – as IS did during its peak – but it could chip around at its edges. Much as some far-right movements in the US and Europe have been able to draw on disillusioned members of conservative movements, IS and other jihadists could attempt to draw on conservative Muslims facing repression by the Indonesian state. At least some online supporters of groups like the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), a politically influential hardline movement, appear to be increasingly open to calls for violence. IS extremists have shown interest in recruiting such disaffected hardliners before and may seek to again in future.
It is also likely that pro-IS Indonesians’ use of social media will become normalised and much more of a complementary tool to real world outreach efforts, rather than a recruitment spearhead of its own. Even during the peak periods of IS activity online, offline recruitment efforts – through mutual connections and shared spaces like schools, mosques and prayer halls – have always played a key role in the group’s growth. Social media will continue to be a useful means of keeping supporters who have already met in real life connected, especially as supporters continue to experiment with increasingly privacy focused encrypted messaging apps.
Ultimately, continued vigilance from governments, tech giants and civil society will be the key variable in ensuring that IS supporters are not given the chance to revive their online fortunes. Waning attention to counterterrorism – a real threat as governments pivot back to great power conflicts – could provide room for extremists to once again spread their wings. As IS’ rise online showed, the internet can provide easy access to potential recruits. Even a sliver of breathing space might be enough to bring Indonesian pro-IS supporters out of survival mode and back to seeking modest expansion.
About The Author:
Jordan Newton is a counterterrorism analyst and consultant for the Australia-Indonesia Partnership for Justice (AIPJ2). He can be contacted at [email protected] and his twitter handle is @GusAJordan.
 Fathiyah Wardah, ‘Survei: 95% Masyarakat Indonesia Tolak ISIS’, VOA Indonesia, January 23, 2016, https://www.voaindonesia.com/a/survei-95-persen-masyarakat-indonesia-tolak-isis-/3159461.html
 Nurdhania, ‘7 Platform Media Sosial Propaganda ISIS’, Ruangobrol, January 27, 2020, https://ruangobrol.id/2020/01/27/fenomena/7-platform-media-sosial-propaganda-isis/
 Charlie Winter, ‘ISIS Is Using the Media Against Itself’, The Atlantic, March 24, 2016, https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2016/03/isis-propaganda-brussels/475002/.
 Some key examples – many of whom have since had their accounts removed and/or are unable to post any further updates due to likely having been killed in fighting – include prominent jihadists such as Ummu Abdullah Azzam, Heri Kustyanto alias Adam Syam and Bahrun Naim.
 Case of DWI DJOKO WIWOHO alias ABU BAKAR alias ABU KHONSAH. Indonesian Supreme Court, July 19, 2018.
 ‘The Radicalisation of Indonesian Women Workers in Hong Kong’. IPAC, July 26, 2017.
 Laurence Binder and Raphael Guck, ‘Assessing Europol’s Operation Against ISIS’ Propaganda: Approach and Impact’, ICCT, June 18, 2018, https://icct.nl/publication/assessing-europols-operation-against-isis-propaganda-approach-and-impact/.
Amarnath Amarasingam and Charlie Winter, ‘The decimation of Isis on Telegram is big, but it has consequences’, Wired, December 2, 2019, https://www.wired.co.uk/article/isis-telegram-security.
 ‘Indonesia and the Tech Giants vs ISIS Supporters: Combating Violent Extremism Online’, IPAC, July 27, 2018,
 Ben Makuch, ‘Banning Islamic State Jihadists From Twitter Is Like Playing Whack-a-Mole’. Vice, August 22, 2014, https://www.vice.com/en/article/z4mzbj/isis-twitter-whack-a-mole.
 ‘Indonesia and the Tech Giants vs ISIS Supporters: Combating Violent Extremism Online’, IPAC, July 27, 2018.
 Telegram observations, 30 April 2022. Even this is almost certainly an over-accounting of followers, as members of these channels and groups include researchers and law enforcement and intelligence officials, while significant numbers of accounts also appear to be inactive or have been deactivated by Telegram.
 Amarnath Amarasingam, Shiraz Maher and Charlie Winter, ‘How Telegram Disruption Impacts Jihadist Platform Migration’. CREST Research, January 8, 2021, https://crestresearch.ac.uk/resources/how-telegram-disruption-impacts-jihadist-platform-migration/.
 Facebook observations, WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram are the top three social media platforms in Indonesia, 30 April 2022, see: https://datareportal.com/reports/digital-2022-indonesia
 Rita Katz, ‘A growing frontier for terrorist groups: unsuspecting chat apps’, Wired, January 9, 2019, https://www.wired.com/story/terrorist-groups-prey-on-unsuspecting-chat-apps/.
‘Pendukung ISIS beramai-ramai pindah ke TamTam setelah ‘digerebek’ di Telegram’, BBC, December 4, 2019, https://www.bbc.com/indonesia/dunia-50648404.
 Some Indonesian pro-IS channels and chat groups exist on these platforms but they are relatively small, mostly dormant and rarely advertised across other platforms (unlike links to Telegram, WhatsApp and Facebook).
 Platforms like Rocketchat are based on users needing to create accounts on a private server to use the chat/channel client. Tutorial videos are often posted outlining step-by-step how to access the servers. This no doubt is helpful for tech savvy users, but for many regular social media consumers, it requires investment and effort which are not needed when using simpler apps like Telegram and Facebook.
 Telegram observations, 30 April 2022. This is almost certainly an under-accounting of the total number of groups and channels on the platform. Other groups and channels exist – this can be seen from forwarded messages, though their membership is likely more tightly controlled.
 Facebook observations, 30 April 2022. Several Indonesian women in Al Hol camp use Facebook to provide updates on their activities in the camp. One of them, Winda, has had her account shut down on at least three occasions over the past two years but she has continued making new accounts, usually advertised by the other women when she returns.
 Examples include changing mentions of ‘IS’ to ’15’ in internet leet-speak. In Indonesian, this can also include shortening of words by removing vowels – reviving a commonly used tactic for reducing costs of mobile phone text messaging in the pre-social media age.
 Examples include horizontally inverting videos, adding filters or stickers and using video footage from one propaganda release but audio from another.
 Charlie Winter’s seminal work on IS’ ‘virtual caliphate’ outlines six broad themes in IS propaganda, including: war, utopianism, belonging, mercy, victimhood and brutality. Charlie Winter, ‘The Virtual ‘Caliphate’: Understanding Islamic State’s Propaganda Strategy’, 2015, Quilliam.
 Described by Haroro Ingram as ‘pragmatic factors’ which ‘compelled its audiences to engage in rational-choice decision making’, where IS was the more rational choice as it had established a functioning Islamic state while its enemies and competitors had not. Haroro Ingram, ‘Learning from ISIS’s virtual propaganda war for Western Muslims: A comparison of Inspire and Dabiq’, ICCT, 26 July 2017, https://icct.nl/app/uploads/2017/07/INGRAM-nato-chapter-21JUL17.pdf.
As an example, IS’ use of drones in propaganda was designed to convey a sense of aerial superiority – usually the domain of states and an attempt to present a clear marker of its success compared to other terrorist groups. See, Archambault, Emil. 2020. ‘Drone imagery in Islamic State propaganda: flying like a state’. International Affairs, Volume 96, Issue 4, July 2020, Pages 955–973.
 Charlie Winter, ‘Apocalypse, Later: A Longitudinal Study of the Islamic State Brand’, Critical Studies in Media Communication, Vol. 35, Issue 1, January 2018, pp. 103-121.
 One of the key early initial losses for IS was the death of its first spokesperson, Abu Muhammad al Adnani, see Dan de Luce, Elias Groll and John Hudson ‘Going After the ISIS Propaganda Mastermind’, Foreign Policy, August 2016, https://foreignpolicy.com/2016/08/31/going-after-the-isis-propaganda-mastermind/.
Strikes in subsequent years also gradually whittled away IS’ media structure, see: ‘US-led coalition claims ISIS propaganda team killed in Iraq air strike’. Al Arabiya News, March 31, 2017.
 Charlie Winter, ‘Inside the collapse of Islamic State’s propaganda machine’, Wired, December 20, 2017, https://www.wired.co.uk/article/isis-islamic-state-propaganda-content-strategy.
‘The ISIS Propaganda Decline’. ICSR, March 23, 2017, https://icsr.info/2017/03/23/isis-propaganda-decline/.
 ‘Empat Motivasi WNI Gabung ISIS’. JPNN, March 15, 2015, https://www.jpnn.com/news/empat-motivasi-wni-gabung-isis.
Wendy Andhika Prajuli, ‘Lewat propaganda berisi fantasi ISIS merekrut anggota’, The Conversation, December 4, 2017, https://theconversation.com/lewat-propaganda-berisi-fantasi-isis-merekrut-anggota-88401.
 In 2014, Indonesian extremists established Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) as the premier pro-IS organisation in Indonesia, complete with branches and a formalised structure. But by the end of 2016, much of JAD’s nascent structure was smashed by counterterrorism operations, leaving its members and supporters operating first as largely autonomous branches and eventually devolving into autonomous cells. MIT, though small, by contrast, has maintained a persistent presence in Poso since the early 2010s to today.
 Instagram observations, Penyebar Berita, 21 September 2022. Telegram observations, Sahabat Dunia Akhirat, January 5, 2022. Examples of Ali Kalora and Ahmad Panjang, prominent MIT leaders’, martyrdom commemoration posters.
 Telegram observations, September 27, 2021.
 Telegram observations, September 8, 2021.
 Telegram observations, June 12, 2021.
 Telegram observations, October 1, 2021. Calls in this fashion have persisted, despite IS no longer controlling significant tracts of territory in the Middle East.
 Telegram observations, July 18, 2020.
 Telegram observations, March 7, 2022. Current Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Quoumas has been featured in photoshopped posters being beheaded by IS militants. Quoumas has frequently attracted controversy among jihadis and non-violent Islamists alike over his statements in defence of religious minorities in Indonesia.
 Telegram observations, August 19, 2019. Salafis are a frequent target of IS supporter incitement, owing to their strong criticism of jihadi groups. But popular mainstream Islamist preachers like Abdul Somad – who was recently refused entry into Singapore – have also been promoted as legitimate targets of attacks.
 Telegram observations, November 26, 2019.
 Telegram observations, May 20, 2019.
 Primarily the introduction of Law No. 5/2018 on Counterterrorism, but also to an extent the introduction of implementing regulations on the National Action Plan on Preventing Violent Extremism (RAN PE). See, ‘IntelBrief: Indonesia Tries to Adapt Laws for New Terror Threats’, Soufan Center, June 6, 2018, https://thesoufancenter.org/intelbrief-indonesia-tries-to-adapt-laws-for-new-terror-threats/.
Cameron Sumpter and Yuslikha Wardhani, ‘Hopes and Hurdles for Indonesia’s National Action Plan to Prevent Violent Extremism’, Resolve Network, March 2022, https://www.resolvenet.org/research/hopes-and-hurdles-indonesias-national-action-plan-prevent-violent-extremism.
 ‘Densus 88 Bongkar Annajiyah Media Center, Pembuat Propaganda Teroris di Medsos’, Republika, March 24, 2022, https://www.republika.co.id/berita/r98uoj377/densus-88-bongkar-annajiyah-media-center-pembuat-propaganda-teroris-di-medsos.
 Telegram observations, February 21, 2022. In late February, five media outlets – An Najiyah, Share News OK, Tahridh Media, Berfikir Cerdas and Basyiira announced the formation of ‘Anshar Productions’ as a presumed umbrella group for their work. Little has been heard of the grouping since early March, coinciding with the arrests of the An Najiyah operatives.
 Telegram observations, October 17, 2021. It’s unclear what form any service would have taken – most likely an archive of jihadist videos uploaded somewhere on the web – but it does attest to how online outlets have often had big dreams cut short by policing efforts.
 As an example, Instagram account Dakwah Terasing. Another previously active under Instagram account shafanawulandari15, subsequently deactivated/removed.
 Telegram observations, September 29, 2021. In some cases, supporters have wrapped up multiple editions of IS’ top-tier magazines, Rumiyah and Dabiq, or collections of propaganda videos into downloadable archives. One of the main pro-IS Telegram groups currently has over 10,000 images, over 1,000 video files, 229 audio files as well as 1,400 shared links (some of which are links to video, image and audio content).
 NU’s website and social media efforts have come along in leaps and bounds in recent years. The organisation’s official website has undergone a complete overhaul with an increased focus on basic advice on religious doctrine and practices – cutting into the ‘Ustadz Google’ phenomenon of lay Muslims inadvertently being exposed to conservative and extremist viewpoints while searching for information on rituals. But it is also supported by other sites run by NU members, such as Islami.co as well as a far more active social media presence from kiais (religious leaders) and progressive leaders.
 Ruangobrol.co.id is staffed by researchers and reformed extremists and frequently posts analysis of extremist ideology and counterterrorism developments for lay audiences.
 Telegram observations, April 1, 2022.
 Telegram observations, October 13, 2021.
 Facebook observations, various accounts including Arman, Abu El, Mangge, 1-2 April 2022
Telegram observations, April 1, 2022
See also Ayuningtyas, Kusumasari. 2022. ‘Indonesian militant chief on death row for terror attacks now condemns them’. Benar News, 4 April.
 Telegram observations, October 28, 2021.
 Telegram observations, January 29, 2022.
 ‘Disunity among Indonesian ISIS supporters and the risk of more violence’. IPAC, February 2, 2016.
 Thomas Hegghammer, ‘Resistance Is Futile: The War on Terror Supercharged State Power’, Foreign Affairs, September/October 2021, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/middle-east/2021-08-24/resistance-futile.
 See the development of the Communications Ministry’s Cyber Drone 9, ‘Indonesia and the Tech Giants vs ISIS Supporters: Combating Violent Extremism Online’, IPAC, July 27, 2018.
 Hegghammer, ‘Resistance Is Futile: The War on Terror Supercharged State Power’. Foreign Affairs, September/October 2021.
 See the recent establishment of ties between Philippines-based pro-IS media outlet East Asia Knights and an alleged Thailand-based pro-IS media outlet, Al Nibras: 2022. @TracTerrorism, Twitter, 18 May.
 Molly Hennesy-Fiske and Richard Read, ‘Right-wing extremists stage ‘meme war’ to compete for Trump supporters’, LA Times, January 27, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2021-01-27/capitol-attack-meme-war-right-wing-extremists.
 Quinton Temby, ‘Why Indonesian militants of different stripes are exchanging anti-Chinese sentiment and extremist memes on Telegram’, SCMP, August 17, 2021, https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/opinion/article/3145293/why-indonesian-militants-different-stripes-are-exchanging-anti.
 Nava Nuraniyah, ‘The Costs of Repressing Islamists’, New Mandala, October 29, 2021, https://www.newmandala.org/the-costs-of-repressing-islamists/.
 Solahudin Hartman, ‘Radikalisasi 4.0: Radikalisme Daring di Indonesia Makin Genting’, PVE K-Hub, December 21, 2021. “For example, several IS supporters joined a WhatsApp group, Ghuraba, in 2020. This WhatsApp group featured members of various [Muslim] groups. There, the IS supporters actively debated and attempted to convince members of groups like FPI and Salafi groups that the Islamic State was on the right path.”
Schulze, Kristen and Liow, Joseph Chinyong. 2018. ‘Making jihadis, waging jihad: transnational
and local dimensions of the ISIS phenomenon in Indonesia and Malaysia’. Asian Security. pp. 1-18.
Also supported by recent research by the Center for Detention Studies, which indicated that out of 209 convicted terrorists sampled between 2016 and 2019, only 38 were primarily radicalised online, a further 42 were radicalised by a mix of online and offline methods and 129 were primarily radicalised through offline methods.
 ‘IntelBrief: The Convergence of Counterterrorism and Great Power Competition’. Soufan Center, March 11, 2021, Further highlighted by the recent war between Russia and Ukraine.