Terrorists staged hell in the center of the capital
Meanwhile, Al Jazeera reports 17 killed in the Jakarta bombing. Among them - five civilians, seven employees of the country's security forces and terrorists. The explosions did not occur as a result of the laying of explosive devices, but as a result of a real attack undertaken by a group of unknown militants. Approximately 10-15 terrorists attacked passersby near a mall, Starbucks, hotels and office buildings. News agencies report that six explosions thundered 50 meters from each other in downtown Jakarta. According to the Minister-Coordinator for Political Affairs, Justice and Security of Indonesia, Lukhut Panjaitan, suicide bombers blew themselves up in one of the coffee shops in the center of the Indonesian capital. Later it turned out that the chronology of the terrorist act looked like this. Around 11.00 in the morning, a first blast thundered at Starbucks cafe - a suicide bomber gave it. Near the cafe, in the parking lot, unknown persons opened fire on foreign citizens. Algerian citizen killed, injured citizen of the Netherlands. The police surrounded the terrorists who shot at them, but the latter managed to detonate an improvised bomb. A few minutes later, men on motorcycles drove up to the police post, who threw grenades at him. Then the motorcyclists began shooting at passersby. A young man with a pistol opened fire in the crowd of onlookers. He was soon shot dead by the police. The surviving terrorists climbed onto the roof of the Jakarta Theater, from where they opened fire on policemen trying to get closer to the building. Two explosions thundered near the embassies of Turkey and Pakistan. Meanwhile, reinforcements began to arrive in the center of the Indonesian capital - army and police special forces. The operation began against terrorists seated on the roof of the theater, which lasted several hours. Special forces, army armored vehicles and even helicopters took part in the operation.
President Joko Vidodo, who was on a business trip, immediately flew to the capital of the country. The areas where the terrorist attacks occurred were sealed off by special forces soldiers. The country's leadership immediately identified the tragedy as a terrorist act. Indonesian President Joko Widodo in a published appeal called on the people of the country not to be afraid of terrorists. It is not yet known who could be behind the terrorist attack in the Indonesian capital. However, the first versions and assumptions already appear. Of course, the most likely organizer of the terrorist attack is the banned in Russia international terrorist organization “Islamic State”. It is her militants, as many experts and journalists believe, could have committed such an unmotivated act of terror in the center of the Indonesian capital. Despite the fact that for a long time South-East Asia was not among the priority regions for the activities of the Islamic State, supporters of this organization were present in Indonesia and Malaysia. On the website "Military Review" we have already touched on the spread of religious fundamentalism and extremism in the countries of the Malay Archipelago. Today, in the light of the tragic events in Jakarta, we will have to revisit this topic again.
Activization of terrorists in Indonesia
In the last decade, religious extremist organizations have begun to show increased activity in Southeast Asia, where previously “political Islam” has never been distinguished by radical tendencies characteristic of the Near and Middle East and North Africa. Of course, in the 1970s and 1990s. in Southeast Asia, a number of radical groups operated that raised religious slogans and waged an armed struggle against the governments of their countries. However, in their case, religious slogans became a confirmation of the requirements of a national liberation character. Religious identity made it possible to strengthen ethnic identity. This was the case in Thailand, where a guerrilla war began against the central government under religious slogans in the southern provinces inhabited by Muslim Malays. This was the case in the Philippines, where the Moro-Islamic minorities of the island of Mindanao also launched an armed struggle against the government of the country. In Indonesia itself, however, the government faced armed resistance from radical groups only in the north-west of Sumatra - in historical Aceh region, whose population has traditionally been distinguished by increased religiosity due to more developed contacts with the Arab East. This situation had a significant impact on the general attitude of the Indonesian authorities towards religious extremism. For a long time, religious fundamentalists were not considered enemies of the existing Indonesian statehood (outside Aceh, in the north-west of Sumatra, in Aceh, the armed struggle of local separatists under religious slogans prompted the authorities to take the problem of radicalization of Islam more seriously than in other regions of the country). The situation changed when terrorist acts began to occur in the country one by one. Initially, the objects of radical attacks were representatives of other faiths and foreign tourists. So, on October 12, 2002, in the resort town of Kuta on the island of Bali, a colossal terrorist attack occurred in terms of the number of victims. The explosions of three bombs killed 202 people, 209 people were injured. Among the dead were 164 citizens of foreign countries. Responsibility for the attack was assigned to the militants of the Jamaa Islamiya movement operating in Southeast Asia.
Another major terrorist attack occurred in August 2003, when a suicide bomber exploded on a truck loaded with explosives, gasoline and nails. The attack occurred at a restaurant in the hotel complex Marriott. 12 people died, 150 people were injured. 9 September 2004, an explosion thundered at the entrance to the Australian Embassy in Indonesia, located in the capital, Jakarta. 11 people were killed, including four policemen and a building guard. In 2005, a new high-profile terrorist attack took place in Indonesia’s “tourist gem” on Bali. Here 1 October 2005, several explosions occurred. One of them sounded in a restaurant in the resort of Jimbaran, right on the shores of the Indian Ocean, the second - in the same place, but in a few minutes. Two more explosions thundered on the central square of the resort town of Kuta. The explosions killed 25 people, over 100 people were injured of varying degrees of severity. 17 July 2009 two explosions thundered near the prestigious Jakarta Ritz-Carlton and Marriott hotels. 9 people became their victims, 50 people were injured of varying degrees of severity. Among the victims - 13 foreigners. In 2015, there was an explosion at the Tabah Abang market in downtown Jakarta. It sounded 8 on April 2015 of the year and led to injuries of only four people, that is, it was no match for the large-scale terrorist attacks of previous years. In addition to the explosions, the terrorist acts of recent years can also include repeated incidents of arson of Christian churches, attacks on gathering places for Christians and believers of other faiths. Radical fundamentalists want to see Indonesia exclusively a mono-confessional country, so they are taking acts of aggression against the Christian, Buddhist and Hindu minorities.
In addition to terrorist attacks, radical organizations in Indonesia have declared themselves and a number of less dangerous, but also extremist actions. For example, in December 2014 on Central Java, militants of religious fundamentalist organizations smashed three stores that sold Christmas symbols on the eve of the Catholic Christmas. The fact is that in modern Indonesia, the celebration of Christmas and the use of Christmas symbolism has long come into fashion. Religious radicals consider this evidence of the assertion of Western influence and the departure of the country's population from the traditions of Islam. Therefore, radical organizations are actively combating any penetration of the cultural influence of the West, first of all with fashion for Christmas symbolism. Radical-minded Indonesians met with mass protests and information that a contest for the title of Miss World could be held in the country.
The intensification of terrorists in Indonesia has forced the country's authorities to pay more attention to the activities of radical religious organizations. If before the attitude towards them was very condescending, now they are under suspicion. The greatest cause for concern was the beginning of the departure from Indonesia of hundreds of volunteers to participate in the hostilities in Iraq and Syria - on the side of the "Islamic state". IG emissaries appeared in Indonesian cities, fundamentalist rallies began to be held in support of IG actions in the Middle East. After that, the previous president of Indonesia, General Susilo Yudoyono, decided to ban the activities of the Islamic State organization in Indonesia. The country began police persecution of religious preachers and activists of religious organizations who were suspected of having links with the Islamic State and organizing travels of Indonesian volunteers to Syria and Iraq. Immediately after the bombings in Jakarta, the Indonesian police reported that the IG recently made direct threats of terrorist acts in the country. Police Chief Jakarta Tito Carnavivan stated that the IG shortly before the incident sent messages about upcoming “concerts in Jakarta”. According to the police chief, the direct organizer of the terrorist act, presumably, is an Indonesian citizen Bahrum Naim, who is currently in Syria and fighting as part of the IG units. The aim of the militants who staged a raid in Jakarta was foreign citizens and local security forces. Later, the "Islamic State" officially took responsibility for the terrorist act in Jakarta. This was reported by the world's leading media.
While there will be poor, there will be extremism
Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world. The population of Indonesia is estimated to be 2014 of the year, 253 609 643 people. This is the fourth largest country in the world in terms of population - it is second only to China, India and the United States of America. It is clear that a country with a huge population, the vast majority of which profess Islam, has enormous economic potential and is in fact a regional power, cannot but attract the attention of religious fundamentalists, including representatives of the Islamic State banned in Russia. The IG is extremely interested in expanding its activities and influence in Southeast Asia, primarily in Indonesia. It is known that the majority of the country's population lives in poverty, the country's unemployment and the economy are not able to meet the needs of a growing population. As Indonesian political scientist Yonvo Sudarsono notes, “as long as there are 9,8 million unemployed people in the country and 36 million people live below the poverty line, there will always be angry young Indonesians committed to Islamic radicalism. It is at the socio-economic level that the cycle should be broken ”(quoted in: Drugov A.Yu. Religion and Power in Modern Indonesia // Southeast Asia: Actual Problems of Development. No. 13, 2009). Social discontent of the population gradually begins to spill out in the form of religious extremism. Naturally, for ISIS, Indonesia is a very promising country in terms of recruiting militants. After all, the human resources of Indonesia are practically inexhaustible by the standards of this organization. On the other hand, Indonesia, in contrast to the countries of the Near and Middle East, is even more subject to the processes of westernization. The trends of Western culture penetrate here much more noticeably, which is very disliked by local conservative circles - supporters of the traditional way of life. It is also an additional factor in the popularization of radical ideas among a part of Indonesians, in particular, representatives of the younger generation. Far from all young Indonesians are satisfied with how behavior patterns characteristic of the West are spreading in the country, the appearance of young men and women is changing, cultural minorities claiming equal rights are emerging. The radicals explain many manifestations of “cultural modernization” of modern Indonesia by the corrupting influence of Western culture and see the establishment of a theocratic state, the “caliphate”, as the only way to minimize it.
Note that at the end of December 2015, the Indonesian police arrested six local residents who were suspected of having links with the banned IG. Abu Karim, a resident of the province of West Java, was arrested on charges of preparing terrorist acts, which confirmed his withdrawal of explosives fabrication schemes. Later several other people were detained, also accused of preparing terrorist attacks on the islands of Java and Sumatra. The Indonesian intelligence agency found that over 100 Indonesian citizens who took part in the hostilities in Syria and Iraq on the side of the "Islamic state" have returned to the country in recent months. With their intensification in Indonesia, the ongoing police operations were carried out to apprehend alleged terrorists. However, despite the detentions, terrorist attacks in Jakarta did occur. It is not known how many more extremists who are ready to commit attacks on the territory of Indonesia are in the country. Meanwhile, there is every reason to believe that the Indonesian authorities themselves prepared the ground for activating the fundamentalist organizations in the country. Jakarta condemned the policies of Syrian President Bashar Assad. As recently as October 2015, the Indonesian authorities allowed the radicals to hold a rally outside the Russian embassy in Jakarta. Gathered hundreds of demonstrators protested against the start of the Russian air force operation in Syria, chanted anti-Russian slogans and publicly burned the Russian state flag. Of course, the Indonesian authorities formally condemned the activities of the Islamic State organization in the Middle East as early as 2014, but at the same time were not in a hurry to take drastic measures against the spread of radical ideas in their territory.
Religious radicals are gaining momentum
In the first decades of Indonesian independence, when the country was ruled by left-wing nationalist Ahmed Sukarno, Islamic fundamentalists were driven underground. Sukarno flirted with the Communists, and therefore sought to limit the influence of religious and right-wing forces on Indonesian politics. In addition, the activities of religious fundamentalists, according to Sukarno, prevented the realization of the concept of “panchas force” developed by him - the five pillars of independent Indonesian statehood, to which Sukarno attributed belief in one God, just and civilized humanity, unity of the country, democracy, social justice for indonesian people. The concept of “pancha force” envisaged the peaceful coexistence of Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Christianity on Indonesian soil. Naturally, religious fundamentalists, who sought to see Indonesia as a Muslim state, did not agree with this point of view and Sukarno tried to minimize their influence on the political life of the country.
Indonesian Islamic leaders blamed the secular nationalists who led the country after independence, betraying the ideals of the national liberation movement. So, Hassan Muhammad Tiro argued that the Indonesian secular nationalists are introducing in the country the European experience of political modernization harmful to its culture, they implant capitalist relations. Another theorist, Isa Anshari, argued that European influence corrupts the Indonesian nation and only the creation of an Islamic state can prevent detrimental processes. Second, in addition to secular nationalists, the religious fundamentalists at that time considered the Communist Party of Indonesia and other left-wing and radical groups to be religious fundamentalists. At the same time, they stressed that the social component plays an important role in Islam, so it is not necessary to resort to alien ideological doctrines of European origin in order to achieve genuine social justice. This nuance is also extremely important for understanding the nature of modern Indonesian religious fundamentalism. After all, religious fundamentalists appeal to the poorest sections of Indonesian society, dissatisfied with the policies of the authorities and, on the other hand, most influenced by traditional religious values. For the social strata of modern Indonesia, striving to create an Islamic state becomes a cherished goal, an alternative to the capitalist path of development of the country. In fact, religious fundamentalists have now occupied that socio-political niche that they had to share with the communist movement in the middle of the twentieth century. In modern Indonesia, the Communists no longer have the influence that in the 1950-x - the first half of the 1960-x. Therefore, social issues are actively exploited by religious fundamentalists, who receive the sympathy of the underprivileged strata of Indonesian society.
The socio-political influence of Indonesian religious fundamentalists began to grow after the removal of Ahmed Sukarno from power. Representatives of the country's top military leadership, who collaborated with the United States and sought to overthrow Sukarno, supported the support of religious fundamentalists. Major General Suharto came to power in the country and actively exploited anti-communist ideas and slogans. Under him, right-wing forces began to be viewed as a counterweight to the Communists, towards whom, on the contrary, their attitude changed dramatically. Recall that before General Suharto came to power in 1965, the most numerous communist party in South-East Asia operated in Indonesia. Suharto actually slaughtered the Indonesian communists - not so much with the help of the army and the police, as with the hands of militants of right-wing radical and religious-fundamentalist groups. But, at the same time, the establishment of a military regime in Indonesia did not lead to the realization of the goals of religious fundamentalists. The right-wing militaries, although they used the potential influence of religious leaders on the masses in order to oppose left nationalists and communists, were not going to share power with religious fundamentalists. Although the government, compared with the years of Sukarno’s rule, has incomparably improved the attitude towards religious organizations, it has nevertheless tried to leave only religious issues in their competence. But the religious fundamentalists themselves, of course, did not suit this approach. It was during the reign of Suharto that the formation of those radical fundamentalist organizations, which in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries began. actively declared themselves on the Indonesian political scene. And it was during this period that clashes on interfaith soil intensified, taking place in those areas of Indonesia where there are significant groups of not only Muslim, but also Christian (Molluksky), Buddhist and Hindu (Bali) populations. The aggravation of interfaith relations also made a significant contribution to the radicalization of the religious-fundamentalist circles of Indonesia. The authorities of the country, at the same time, did not strongly seek to limit the activities of religious-fundamentalist organizations, especially if the latter did not demonstrate anti-government sentiment, but limited themselves to attacks on religious groups of the population, communists and supporters of westernization. For many years, radical organizations were allowed to operate in Indonesia - they had their own representative offices here and recruited activists. At the same time, the Indonesian leadership expected that the activities of religious fundamentalists in the country would not reach dangerous proportions. Indonesian Islam has always been notable for its moderation and loyalty to the authorities. The same radical groups that "went too far" and began to conduct subversive activities against the Indonesian government, were squeezed out of the country.
Starting from the 2000's. the influence of religious fundamentalists in the country is growing rapidly. This is manifested at the household level. So, in the city of Tangerang, near Jakarta, women were forbidden to go out at a later time without an accompanying man. In the Sumatran city of Padang, the mayor of the city demanded that all girls, regardless of religion, attend school in the hijab. Only after the growth of protests from the public, the head of the city administration was forced to abandon this decision. In 2002, in the province of West Java, the local education board sent questionnaire forms to schools. They were asked to answer for each child the question whether he is an illegitimate “child of vice”. But if the cases listed were nevertheless private in nature and most likely related to the activities of individual officials or groups of officials sympathizing with radical fundamentalists, in the province of Aceh in the north of Sumatra Sharia law was introduced in full. Only after the sharia began to determine the daily life of the province of Aceh, which led the armed struggle against the Indonesian government, the movement for the Free Aceh ceased resistance and made peace with the government forces. Since 2005, Sharia law has been adopted in Aceh, albeit in a slightly softer form than in Saudi Arabia. Nevertheless, corporal punishment is actively used in the province against violators of moral norms and prohibitions. So, public flogging can expect women who are left alone with other men, or men and women gambling, and drinking alcoholic beverages. Such punishments are regularly broadcast on provincial television. But these achievements are considered by radical circles of Indonesian fundamentalists too small. In West Sumatra, West and Central Java, radicals require Sharia law to be introduced along the lines of Aceh.
Until recently, the most active religious fundamentalist organizations in Indonesia remained the Indonesian Liberation Party of Hizb ut-Tahrir (HTI) and Djemaa Islamiya (Islamic Society). Hizb-ut-Tahrir is more intellectual in nature and focuses on propaganda among students of higher educational institutions in Indonesia. The purpose of this organization is the struggle to recreate the caliphate. The Indonesian government does not prevent the holding of mass events and meetings of this organization, but seeks to restrain its contacts with foreign foundations and organizations. The second organization, Jemaah Islamia, has a more intense history of relations with the Indonesian authorities. It was founded by Imam Abdullah Sungkar and Imam Abu Bakar Bashir. Unlike the KhTI, Jemaa Islamiya quickly enough turned to violent actions against the country's minority minorities. In 1984 was activists of the organization staged riots, accompanied by clashes with the police. After that, the patience of the Indonesian authorities burst and the imams of Sungkar and Bashir had to leave the country. They took refuge in neighboring Malaysia, where they continued to consolidate their organization and form its armed wing. It was repeatedly pointed out that the militants of the Jemaah Islamiya fought in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union and took part in organizing terrorist acts on the island of Bali in 2002 and 2005. “Jemaa Islamia” advocates the creation of the “Islamic State of Nusantara,” which, according to the organization’s theorists, should cover the territories of modern Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, as well as the Muslim provinces of Thailand, Myanmar and the Philippines. In recent years, a much more radical IS has gradually replaced the HTI and the Jamaa Islamia in Indonesia. Conductors of his influence in Indonesia were citizens of the country who were educated in religious and secular educational institutions in the countries of the Arab East and in Turkey. These are representatives of educated sections of Indonesian society who hold religious fundamentalist beliefs and are closely associated with international religious fundamentalist organizations. Of course, some of the Indonesians studying abroad, during their studies, got acquainted with the representatives of the Islamic State and turned into supporters of this organization. Returning to their homeland, they consolidated around them less educated, but socially disadvantaged and offended by government policies, young people, primarily urban unemployed. It is the latter that constitute the main contingent from which volunteers are recruited to participate in hostilities in the Middle East or to carry out terrorist acts on the territory of Indonesia itself. According to the Indonesian secret services, at least 500 Indonesian citizens are fighting in Syria and Iraq, but in reality this figure can be significantly higher. In addition, there is a constant process of returning the fighters who have fought to their homeland and sending new volunteers to Iraq and Syria.
IG in Indonesia
After 29 June 2014 was proclaimed a “caliphate” in Syria and Iraq by supporters of the IG, a whole series of statements about its support from Indonesian fundamentalist religious organizations and individual religious figures followed. On June 30, IG took the oath of allegiance to Sheikh Abu Wardah Santoso, who was the commander of the radical group "Indonesia Mujaheddin", who had broken away from Jemaah Islamiyah and was leading the armed struggle in the jungles of Indonesia (however, the real successes of the "forest jihadists" of Abu Waha-yah Saha-yah Saha-yah Saha-ihahahaha achieved - in contrast to the Philippine grouping of a similar sense, “Abu Sayyaf”, they could not conduct serious actions against the security forces). Then 5 July was followed by the oath of parishioners of the mosque of the city of Bima on Sumbawa Island, July 6 of university students from the city of Chiputat in Java, 16 of July of the parishioners of the mosque of Surakarta on the island of Java, etc. In mid-July, the founder of Jemaa Islamia, the spiritual leader of this organization, Imam Abu Bakar Bashir, swore allegiance to the IG.
After that, IG in Indonesia had a powerful resource - the organization Jemaah Islamia, which has a long history and an extensive network in the countries of Southeast Asia. This factor should also not be discounted. 22 July 2014 was published a video in which Abu Muhammad al-Indonesia - the leader of the Indonesian volunteers in the Middle East - urged his compatriots to stand under the banner of the IG. In response, realizing the danger of the current situation, the Indonesian leadership switched to action. Already 4 August 2014, the government of Indonesia has officially announced the ban on the organization of the Islamic State and its ideology in the country. After that, mass police raids began on alleged activists and sympathizers of the IS. In the provinces of East Java and Moluk, militants were detained, and on August 15, special forces destroyed a group of radicals in the city of Banyumas (Central Java Province), killing one and detaining five of its members. Then, in August 2014 g, it became aware of the threats of the Indonesian IG supporters to destroy the famous Borobudur temple complex on the island of Java, built in the pre-Islamic era and considered the largest monument of Indonesian Buddhist culture. Obviously, this is how the Indonesian radicals frightened the world community, which has not yet recovered from the destruction of the famous Buddhist complex Bamyan by the Afghan Taliban.
And a little bit about external factors.
Thus, the version of involvement in the terrorist attack in Jakarta by representatives of radical religious organizations, primarily local IG cells, seems to be the most reasonable. It is followed by the Indonesian authorities themselves. Moreover, there is already a message in the media allegedly from the IG that the organization takes responsibility for the attacks in Jakarta. But, meanwhile, we should not forget about another version. For obvious reasons, neither the Indonesian authorities, nor the majority of world mass media will voice it. It is about provocations of foreign forces interested in certain changes in the country's political course. Some media outlets focus on the events that preceded the bombings and shooting in Jakarta. So, at the beginning of October 2015, an agreement was signed on the establishment of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. This project was called an important blow to the US in China’s position in the Asia-Pacific region. The agreement on the establishment of the Trans-Pacific Partnership was signed by the United States of America, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Peru. Indonesia was also considered a promising participant in the TTP - the fourth largest country in the world and the largest country after Asia in the Asia-Pacific region, the economy of Indonesia ranks third after China and Japan in East and Southeast Asia. Already on October 27, it was reported that Indonesia will soon join the Trans-Pacific Partnership. But in the middle of November 2015, the Indonesian leadership suddenly changed its mind. The position was voiced that for the Indonesian state ASEAN is of greater interest, in which China and Russia play an important role. Indonesia rejected the idea of joining the Transpacific Partnership. Who knows whether the terrorist attack in Jakarta is not a kind of “hint” to the Indonesian leadership on the desirability of working with the “main fighter against terrorism” on the planet?
In front of the Indonesian leadership in the light of recent events have faced difficult tasks. Indonesia is trying to maintain neutrality in the difficult political game in the East. So, it was Indonesia that declared its desire to act as an intermediary in improving relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia (finally spoiled after the demonstrative execution of a Shiite spiritual leader in Saudi Arabia). Secondly, Indonesia in the Asia-Pacific region is no longer in a hurry to openly take the side of the United States and join the Trans-Pacific Partnership, subordinating its economy to the interests of American and transnational corporations. As we see, the maintenance of public order and security inside the country is becoming increasingly difficult for Indonesia. For a long time, the country officially adhered to the concept of “pancha forces”, which allows Muslims and representatives of the Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist and Hindu minorities to coexist more or less peacefully. Revitalization of religious fundamentalists, especially as irreconcilable as the IG, can lead to a significant destabilization of the situation in the country. Meanwhile, the escalation of violence and sectarian conflicts will inevitably affect the economy of Indonesia. It is known that the country is one of the most attractive for foreign tourists. The tourist glory of Indonesia is created by the island of Bali - the “pearl” of the country, unique also by the fact that Bali is practiced not by Islam, but by the local “Balinese religion” combining elements of Hinduism, Buddhism and traditional Balinese beliefs. Naturally, the followers of this religion have always been attacked by religious fundamentalists, who perceive Bali as an “island of debauchery” compared to much more conservative and less connected with the West other regions of Indonesia. Terrorist acts may lead to a gradual decrease in the number of foreign tourists visiting the country.