Jemaah Islamiyah after the Recent Wave of Arrests: How Much Danger Remains?
In June 2007, the Indonesian police arrested two top leaders and a number of other alleged members of Southeast Asia’s most prominent terrorist organization Jemaah Islamiyah (JI). The arrests were the latest in a whole series of successful police operations that has weakened JI over the last few years. Some observers now believe that JI no longer poses an immediate threat to Indonesian security, but others disagree, arguing that JI is merely in a temporary consolidation phase. This article will assess these claims by examining the importance of the recent arrests and placing them in the broader context of Indonesia’s continuing efforts to promote democratization and reconciliation. It will be argued that JI is indeed still a dangerous organization, but that the nature of the threat seems to have changed. JI may no longer be an immediate threat to Western interests in Indonesia, but it continues to jeopardize stability in Indonesia because its quintessential ideological goal to establish an Islamic state in Indonesia still resonates with many young Indonesians. This is particularly dangerous in areas like Poso where years of communal violence have left many young people disillusioned and susceptible to JI’s jihadi ideology.
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Volume (Year): 26 (2007)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
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