Monday, July 27, 2009
Indonesia: Local Groups Offer Shelter To Militants
Fugitive terrorist Noordin M. Top and his accomplices managed to maintain their presence in the country because local groups helped them to establish a secure base of operations. These local groups are believed to be influenced by Salafist groups such as Saudi Arabia’s Wahabis, the Muslim Brotherhood and Hizbut Thahrir.
Noordin, believed to be the leader of a JI breakaway group seeking to attack Western targets, is accused of planning and carrying out the bombings in Bali in 2002 and 2005, as well as attacks in Jakarta in 2003 and 2004. He remains at large, despite several manhunts targeting his cell over the last few years. It is believed that Wahabi teachings have become influential in the Central Java town of Cilacap, where Noordin was sheltered by Bahrudin Latif, the 60-year-old head of Al-Muaddib, an Islamic boarding school. Bahrudin’s daughter, Ari Aryani, is married to Noordin. “Al-Muaddib, which means ‘civilization’ in Arabic, has been used as a terrorist camp.