Jihadists at our doorstep
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.”