Densus 88 Claims of Jamaah Islamiyah Begins to Weakened

The National Police’s Special Detachment 88 Anti-Terror (Densus 88) suspects that the activity of Jamaah Islamiyah (JI) has declined after a series of arrests of its main character in recent times. Even so, the effort to erase his movement cells didn’t stop.

The claim that JI had weakened was conveyed by Kombes Pol MD Shodiq, Director of Identification and Socialization, Densus 88 Anti-Terror Police. He spoke in the discussion “Knowing Al Jamaah Al Islamiyah, Past, Present and Future,” Tuesday (12/10).

Kombes Pol MD Shodiq, Director of Identification and Socialization, Detachment 88 Anti-Terror Police in the screenshot.  (Photo: Mouab/Nurhadi)

Kombes Pol MD Shodiq, Director of Identification and Socialization, Detachment 88 Anti-Terror Police in the screenshot. (Photo: Mouab/Nurhadi)

“After yesterday’s peak, we carried out law enforcement against Abu Rusdan, one of the figures and figures in the JI group, in general the map of JI is clear. down. This means that we have secured the figures,” said Shodiq in a discussion organized by the Terrorism Study Program, University of Indonesia.

Abu Rusdan was arrested in Bekasi on September 10, 2021 along with three other JI members. Abu Rusdan was arrested in 2003-2006 for being proven to protect one of the perpetrators of the Bali bombings, Ali Ghufron. After his release, Abu Rusdan continued to lecture through social media and build new followers.

Police inspect the car used by the attacker outside the Pekanbaru Police Headquarters, Riau, following the attack on May 16, 2018. (Photo: AFP/Dedy Sutisna)

Police inspect the car used by the attacker outside the Pekanbaru Police Headquarters, Riau, following the attack on May 16, 2018. (Photo: AFP/Dedy Sutisna)

JI Keeps Moving

Shodiq suspects that currently JI has at least 6,000-7,000 members throughout Indonesia. They still apply the so-called General Guidelines for the Struggle of Jamaah Islamiyah (PUP JI), even though the government has declared JI a banned organization in 2007.

“Since the existence of the JI group that carried out terror in Indonesia, to this day we have arrested and prosecuted 876 people from the JI group,” added Shodiq.

The JI group accounted for the largest number of arrests in the span from the early 2000s to the present. According to data from Densus 88 presented by Shodiq, a total of 2,914 members of a similar movement have been subject to law enforcement. This number comes from all groups that grew up in Indonesia.

TNI soldiers detain a person acting as a terrorist during an anti-terror exercise at the Indonesia Stock Exchange Building in Jakarta, March 13, 2010. (Photo: REUTERS/Beawiharta)

TNI soldiers detain a person acting as a terrorist during an anti-terror exercise at the Indonesia Stock Exchange Building in Jakarta, March 13, 2010. (Photo: REUTERS/Beawiharta)

JI is the organization with the largest members caught. In addition, there were also arrests of members of the NII group, who had not pledged allegiance to anyone but immediately joined the terrorist activities. There are also those born from the MMI group, JAT, JAD, Hazmi, Abu Uswah group, MIT, MIB, MAT, and JAK. Then there is the group of Khatib Aliman, Fikrah Abu Hamzah, and the Malay Taliban, whose 42 members were arrested after the bombing of a mosque in Cirebon.

“One of the factors that JI is still alive and well running is the funding source,” said Shodiq.

However, Densus 88 has worked on this funding sector by making efforts to arrest all acts of collecting funds for terror activities. Shodiq admits that what is still difficult to deal with is regeneration.

“The JI group has a kind of school Yes, throughout Indonesia there are less than 67 if no wrong. That’s where the human resources are there. For JI, now we know that before carrying out global jihad, it conducts training activities in the formed gyms, and the top 10 will be sent for global jihad to Syria, Afghanistan and so on, ”added Shodiq.

Significant progress has been made by Indonesia with the passage of Law 5/2018, which allows Densus 88 to act without waiting for action to take place. This means that the perpetrators of terrorism can be subject to law since they are proven to have planned.

Humanitarian Approach

Dr. Amanah Nurish, Lecturer of UI Terrorism Studies Study Program in screenshot.  (Photo: Mouab/Nurhadi)

Dr. Amanah Nurish, Lecturer of UI Terrorism Studies Study Program in screenshot. (Photo: Mouab/Nurhadi)

The lecturer of the UI Terrorism Study Program, Dr. Amanah Nurish, advised the government to take a more humane way of treating convicts of terrorism cases. He admitted that he saw for himself how the wives and children of convicts in Central Sulawesi were unable to meet their husbands or fathers who were being detained.

“I don’t think the state needs to overdo it to limit the movement of the meeting. Maybe it’s for security reasons, safety, and cut off the network,” he said.

However, continued Amanah, in small matters such as in the context of gender, socio-culture, in this case in Sulawesi, it is considered a bit vulnerable.

Officers pasted posters containing photos and identities of four MIT terrorists who are still being hunted in the Greater Madago operation.  Saturday (25/9/2021).  (Photo: Courtesy/Humas Central Sulawesi Police)

Officers pasted posters containing photos and identities of four MIT terrorists who are still being hunted in the Greater Madago operation. Saturday (25/9/2021). (Photo: Courtesy/Humas Central Sulawesi Police)

Amana, who conducted research in Central Sulawesi, fears that small angers within the families of these terrorists will grow. It is not impossible that these conditions encourage reintegration between members of JI with MIT and JAD.

“The mountain people could have come down and united with those in Sigi and Poso, if the country was not very sensitive to treating this post -Taliban JI,” he added.

If the state is absent from such trivial matters, according to Amanah, there will be a big potential threat in the future. However, this group has sufficient capital to continue to grow.

“I think the state needs to be very careful in treating the families of terror convicts, especially their wives, who in fact they are also very powerful in this movement,” he said again.

From the victim’s point of view, this humane approach has also proven to be effective. This experience was conveyed by Sudirman, from the Indonesian Survivalist Foundation. Sudirman is a former security officer at the Australian Embassy who was the victim of a bomb explosion in 2004. He lost his left eye, has a disability in his hand, and still has to take drugs to this day.

Sudirman, an activist with the Indonesian Survivor Foundation in the screenshot.  (Photo: Mouab/Nurhadi)

Sudirman, an activist with the Indonesian Survivor Foundation in the screenshot. (Photo: Mouab/Nurhadi)

Sudirman considered that a more heart-to-heart approach was needed to prevent terrorists from carrying out their actions again. One of the things he did was meet the convicts and share stories about what had to be faced after the tragic event.

“When we talked about the impact of the bomb, the defects we experienced, we explained how our family’s life was, the majority of them cried. It’s as if they never thought that what they were doing would make such a big impact, and the majority were Muslims themselves,” said Sudirman.

For this reason, the victim narrative is considered strong in preventing future acts of terrorism. Sudirman reasoned, the victim had an approach from the heart.

Noor Huda Ismail, visiting fellow at the S. Rajaratnam Institute of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University of Singapore.  (Photo: Private Dock)

Noor Huda Ismail, visiting fellow at the S. Rajaratnam Institute of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University of Singapore. (Photo: Private Dock)

Terrorism observer Noor Huda Ismail Ph.D said the approach that needs to be taken is similar to acupuncture techniques. One small touch at the right point has more impact on counter-terrorism efforts than a large unfocused effort. The emotional narrative, as explained by Sudirman, is considered by Noor Huda to be the right step.

“Not using a Western-style approach that has to be formal, in five-star hotels, applause, there is a welcome. Duitspent on lodging and travel expenses. Better like acupuncture, specific and targeted, that I think will be more appropriate, “said Noor Huda. [ns/ah]

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