26 September 2014
In response to the rise in Indonesian and Malaysian fighters joining the extremist Islamic State (IS) group, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur have taken action to criminalise membership. The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), the nation’s top Muslim clerical body, also released a statement that it was haram, or forbidden, for Muslims to participate in IS activities. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has also issued a strongly worded statement condemning IS for its actions, which ‘run counter to Islamic faith, culture and to common humanity’.
These are positive moves. But they have been inadequate, given the popularisation of IS ideological beliefs via social media.
Indonesia, in response to the 2002 Bali bombing, the twin bombing of the Marriott and Ritz-Carlton in 2009, and other attacks on Indonesian soil, adjusted its counter-terrorism strategy. Indonesia has stressed a hard approach to countering the threat of terrorism, primarily through the lens of law enforcement. Over 600 terrorists have been prosecuted in the wake of the 2002 Bali bombings. Currently, the Indonesian police are responsible for counterterror operations, particularly the elite counter-terrorism unit, Detachment 88.
…Stefanie Kam Li Yee is an Associate Research Fellow at S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.
Robi Sugara is a graduate student pursuing an MSc in Strategic Studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore.
ICPVTR / RSIS / Online
Last updated on 26/09/2014