Jihadists at our doorstep

Sunday Mail - - NEWS -

IN­DONE­SIAN in­tel­li­gence chiefs have warned their coun­try is see­ing an un­prece­dented spike in rad­i­cal­ism that has an army of half a mil­lion jihadists poised on Aus­tralia’s doorstep.

“There are 500,000 peo­ple al­ready rad­i­calised,” said one of sev­eral top in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cials in an ex­clu­sive back­ground brief­ing to Sun­day Mail in Jakarta.

“They are ready to fight democ­racy here or to go to Syria. They are jihadists.”

One in­tel­li­gence boss added: “We now have chil­dren say­ing ‘Taghut’, which refers to the ac­cu­sa­tion that any­one who does not fol­low Al­lah fol­lows Satan and is a kafir (a dis­be­liever).

“The big­gest problem is when par­ents make some­one who is seven-years-old into a men­tal mon­ster through in­doc­tri­na­tion.

“We have too many chil­dren com­ing from Syria. We are the first in the world to take back jihadists and put them through (de­rad­i­cal­i­sa­tion) pro­grams. We don’t know the re­sults of that.”

In­tel­li­gence chiefs said the bat­tle­ground had shifted from Bali, where Je­maah Is­lamiah had a tight com­mand struc­ture and charis­matic lead­ers gave one-on-one coun­selling in ter­ror. Now, home­made and highly un­sta­ble bombs could be made by any­one.

“Syria and the Is­lamic State doc­trine is very dif­fer­ent,” said one chief.

“Now they say you can at­tack any tar­get and this is very dif­fi­cult to stop. It used to be one em­bassy or one ho­tel a year. Now they can come from any­where, any time.”

One re­cent sur­vey sug­gested 11.5 mil­lion In­done­sians are sus­cep­ti­ble to rad­i­cal­i­sa­tion.

“The ab­so­lute num­bers may seem in­cred­i­ble but it doesn’t sur­prise me across the 210 mil­lion Mus­lims in In­done­sia,” said Aus­tralian ter­ror ex­pert Greg Bar­ton.

“On a pos­i­tive side, 85 per cent sup­port Pan­casila (the coun­try’s found­ing demo­cratic prin­ci­ples). But it means 15 per cent don’t.”

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