terrorism

US Sanctions Four Militants Linked with Islamic State

The US State Department has recently identified the Islamic State-linked Indonesian extremist organization, responsible for the fatal attack in Jakarta last year, as a terrorist group.

On Tuesday, January 10, the State Department has named the Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) as a terrorist group. They added that the Indonesian-based terror organization, also linked to the Islamic state, was formed back in 2015 and currently has a membership network of nearly 30 local extremist groups.

The United States announced penalties to be imposed against four militants, in line with the effort to sever the IS’s connection with the international financial system.

US authorities reported that JAD militants carried out a suicide attack in the Indonesian capital early last year, which left eight people dead — four civilian and four attackers — in what was recorded as the first Southeast Asian attack by the Islamic State. They added that a Syria-based IS militant group financially backed the January attack.

Part of the sanctions imposed by the State Department for being named a terrorist organization include freezing all properties linked to the group in America and banning US citizens from having any business with JAD.

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A police officer stands guard on the blast site of a massive explosion at the country’s capital on January 14, 2016.

See: Molotov Attack, Bomb Threat Hit Indonesian Worship Places

JAD had been linked to a series of terror incidents in the archipelago, including the firebomb attack on a church that killed one child and the Christmas-time suicide bombing plan that was fortunately thwarted when police authorities killed the militants planning the attack.

Of the four militants to be sanctioned, two are Indonesian nationals: Bahrumsyah and Aman Abdurrahman.

Bahrumsyah is connected with a Syria-based IS network, believed to be heading a Southeast Asian group of extremists, funding militants and ordering attacks in the archipelago.

Abdurrahman is a jailed extremist who authorized the January attack in the country’s capital and is known as the de facto leader of all Indonesia-based IS supporters. The main translator for IS propaganda in the archipelago, Abdurrahman recruits militants to join IS and communicates with leaders of the jihadist group.

Two Australians were also sanctioned by The Treasury: IS’s most senior Australian recruiter Neil Christopher Prakash and Khaled Sharrouf, who is most known for appearing in pictures where he holds severed heads of people that they have executed.

While a crackdown had weakened the likes of these terrorist groups, fears of a resurgence in militancy continue to grow with more and more news reports of Indonesians flocking to the Middle East to take part in the IS network.

As the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country, Indonesia has long combatted Islamic militancy and has suffered a series of terror attacks in the past few years. Among them was the massive Bali bombing in 2002 that reportedly killed 202 people.

Image credits: AbsoluteFeed, CNN

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Nadya Joy Ador is a Philippines-based journalist and editor for Content Collision. She routinely covers business, news, and human interest topics. See her portfolio at nadyajoyador.c2live.com and build your own for free!