Changing patterns of support for ISIS and al-Qaeda in Indonesia

Crawford School of Public Policy | Arndt-Corden Department of Economics | Indonesia Project
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Event details

Indonesia Study Group

Date & time

Wednesday 11 March 2015


Coombs Extension Room 1.04, Building #8, Fellows Road, ANU


Sidney Jones and Solahudin, Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict.


Indonesia Project
6125 5954

The tiny extremist fringe in Indonesia that supports ISIS (now known as Islamic State) and the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front in Syria and Iraq now appears to be attracting wealthier, better educated adherents with no previous affiliation to radical groups. The availability of funding from these new recruits, some of them with businesses in the Muslim clothing or halal food industries, may be widening the pool of ISIS support and encouraging middle-class professionals to join the ranks, as well as underwriting training and travel. Jemaah Islamiyah is now actively recruiting on university campuses in Java and making a point of seeking engineers, technicians and linguists. Solahudin will discuss the emergence and significance of these middle-class jihadis.

Sola and Sidney will then look at the challenges to effective policy-making with regard to ISIS and al-Nusra. Indonesia, like other countries in a similar situation, faces a dilemma: does it try to prevent would-be mujahidin from leaving, with the possibility that their frustrations will then take the form of violence at home, or do they let them go but take the chance that some will return with dangerous new skills? They will argue that more than 12 years after the Bali bombing, Indonesia still lacks a national strategy on counter-terrorism.

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