Home Asian News Cells are disconnected and families are connected together - The Diplomat

Cells are disconnected and families are connected together – The Diplomat


On Sunday, March 28, two suicide bombers from Jema’ah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), an Indonesian pro-Islamic State terrorist organization (IS), detonated the IED pressure cooker in front of the Church. Sacred Heart of Jesus in Makassar, South Sulawesi. The explosion left two culprits, Lukman and Yogi, dead and 20 injured. Mark attack 552th terrorist attack in Indonesia from 2000 to 2021, and the JAD attack is the deadliest since the three-man bombing in Surabaya in 2018.

After that, the police arrested a total 32 suspected terrorists – 18 JAD members are suspected of being in Makassar involved in the attack and 14 other individuals in four provinces who were involved in the bombings have not been confirmed. On the following Wednesday, March 31, an IS supporter, Zakiah, attacked the National Police Headquarters in Jakarta with an air gun. While there was no link between the National Police Headquarters attack and the Makassar bombing, follow-up attacks by consents following a major JAD attack were not uncommon. meet. For example, in May 2018, JAD’s three-day Mako Brimob strike was followed by a series of attacks inspired by police officers.

However, the Makassar bombing is particularly interesting to analyze as it marks an increase in JAD’s lethal potential amid the government’s ongoing counterterrorism efforts, resulting in the arrest of the majority. JAD’s senior leadership and depletes the group’s financial resources – leave the organization “almost inactive“By the end of 2020. Apparently, the JAD attacks over the past two years, such as the 2019 knife attack on former Indonesian Political and Security Coordinating Minister Wiranto, largely opportunistic. Members usually don’t have plans to maximize damage or coverage – choose quickly seize the opportunity immediately violence when they come.

On the other hand, the timing and target of the Makassar bombing show strategic intentions. It was conducted on Palm Sunday when people gathered in an empty church were forced to stream regular Mass services due to COVID-19 restrictions, and it specifically targeted to the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, home to one of the largest congregations in the city. That said, it’s important to note that despite being the JAD’s most deadly attack in the past few years, the Makassar bombing failed to reach the level of sophistication in the operations and impact of the attacks. previous JAD attacks, such as the triple bombing of Surabaya in 2018, which resulted in 58 casualties, or the bombing of Sarinah in 2016 that caused 33 casualties.

While investigations of the attack are still ongoing, public arrests and reporting on the perpetrators of the bombing provide two important insights into how it works, and therefore operations. of the JAD in general, has been planned and implemented.

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Independence of JAD cells

The first insight that the Makassar bombing provides is in spite of the many cells and people who agree scattered over many provinces of IndonesiaJAD attacks are usually conducted by a cell independent of the other cells. A week after the Makassar bombing, police discovered a network of 18 JAD members suspected of assisting the perpetrator through various preparatory roles – including propaganda, logistical support, and surveillance. operations and bomb assembly – all living in Makassar. No network comes from another cell or province. Although police have arrested JAD members in Jakarta, West Java, East Java and West Nusa Tenggara, there is no confirmation that these people were directly involved in the attack.

The independent nature of the prepared JAD operational networks – marked by the lack of participation by other JAD branches in other provinces – is evident in many of their other attacks. For example, the bombing of the 2019 police station in Medan, supported by one 23 people network all were arrested in Medan, North Sumatra. Although police have also arrested three people in Aceh, a neighboring province, their role in the operation is largely unknown and they are still considered part of the Medan cell. The structure of the network preparing for the bombing of Surabaya 2018 is similar in that it was prepared and conducted by a branch operating in a single province – police arrested after the bombing was discovered. a network of 31 those who lived and were arrested in East Java.

The activity independence and autonomy of JAD cells dictate the degree of organizational decentralization. Such a decentralized and independent structure is completely different from terrorist organizations like Jema’ah Islamiyah (JI) whose different cells depend on each other to provide different functioning functions, but supplement, and the central leadership intentionally designed bureaucratic infrastructure, such as ALWI (The Internal Police and Intelligence Unit), directs these cells to be concentrated. Even the Mujahideen of East Indonesia (MIT), although physically isolated in Poso, Central Sulawesi, was active with a degree of connection to other cells outside of its province. For example, in 2018 MIT based JAD’s Ambon cell in Maluku and Darul Islam’s Ring Banten cell in West Java to recruit recruits.

The decentralized nature of JAD is partly due to the way the organization was originally designed. As recorded in 2021 report from the Conflict Policy Analysis Institute (IPAC), the JAD has always been a “chaotic collection of cells, organizations, and individuals” instead of a well-structured one. That said, near its inception, the JAD had a number of notable trans-provincial inter-ministerial activities. For example, Ali Hamka, the head of a JAD branch in Indramayu, West Java, was noted to have a significant active relationship with JAD branches in Jakarta, compared with his participation in Bombing 2016 in Sarinahand Trung Sulawesi, showing his role in sending in new recruits Poso. However, the organization’s structure has become increasingly decentralized and disrupted since mid-2018 when mass arrests left JAD’s central structure useless, leaving no central authority. to collectively control or direct a “corporation” of independent cells. The Makassar bombing indicates that this is still happening.

The role of families in JAD attacks

A second insight that the Makassar bombing brings to JAD’s work is how important family and personal relationships are in facilitating attacks. Apparently, the two suicide bombers in the Makassar bombing, Lukman and Yogi, were husband and wife, who were married six months before they launched their suicide campaign. This tactic – a suicide bombing carried out by a couple – is similarly used in previous JAD attacks such as the 2018 bombing of three Surabaya churches, staged by Dita and Puji with their children, and the Jolo Cathedral in 2019, staged by Rullie and Ulfah. By using the family as the attack unit, the JAD culprit is able to minimize online communication and thus detect and encapsulate himself in a Small dynamic group That reinforces an operational commitment.

However, the family and personal ties were important in the Makassar bombing not only by reinforcing Lukman and Yogi’s internal commitment to work, but also by connecting externally with Rullie and Ulfah. Indeed, it is important to note that although the bombing of Makassar and the bombing of Jolo involved different terrorist organizations, they used similar tactics. Investigate police it was soon discovered that these similarities were not entirely random since both pairs of suicide bombers were directly connected. net family and personal relationships. Specifically, the police discovered that Lukman and Yogi were in the same JAD cell and the group reading the Quran with Ulfah’s daughter, Ainun Pretty Amalia, and Ulfah’s brother, Muhammad Rizaldy – both were arrested and was killed during a raid by 20 JAD members in Makassar by Special Team (Densus) 88 in January.

Rizaldy’s role is particularly important. Not just him get married Lukman and Yogi, show a strong level of personal ties between him and the Makassar bombers, but Rizaldy is also believed to have Communicate with and send money with the terrorist networks that sent Ulfah to Jolo, showing that he not only had personal ties to the Jolo bombers, but also had active ties to the networks that triggered that attack. While Rizaldy’s exact role in linking the Jolo and Makassar bombings remains unclear, it would not be surprising if, given his connection, he was an important node that provided Lukman and Yogi essential information to simulate the bombing of Jolo Church 2019.

The critical role of home and personal networks in the distribution of critical information and / or operational logistics to carry out successful terrorist attacks has been noted in Indonesia. For example, it is personal and family relationships between Noordin M. Top, commander JI, Rois, former commander of DI battalion, and Kang Jaja, leader of the DI Ring Banten, allowing Noordin to recruit and train Heri Golun – the suicide bomber in the bombing plan. Top 2004 Australian Embassy. Similarly, it is personal relationship between Imam Samudra, JI’s Mantiqi I leader and Heri Hafidzin, the lead recruitment team leader for DI Ring Banten, allowed Samudra to recruit Iqbal – one of the suicide bombers for the 2002 Bali Bombing. Makassar points out that even in 2021, family relationships are still very important to be noticed.

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Conclusion

These insights show that it is not hasty to judge that the bombing of Makassar marked a significant “revival” of Indonesia’s most notorious ISIS. The attack was not only not as sophisticated or damaging as the group’s activities in 2015 or 2018, but the Makassar party that prepared and launched the attack also carried out independently from the other JAD branches. Unlike JI, JAD cells are always decentralized in nature with little or no coordination or transfer of knowledge between its various cells. Therefore, it is not wise to take the strategic direction and performance of JAD Makassar as a benchmark to estimate the capabilities of other JAD cells.

Instead, it is more important to analyze the JAD not only through the lens of the organization but also through the lens of social media. By understanding the personal and family relationships between cells and members, one can appreciate how JAD works – for example, why, despite the two’s infamous successes. JAD members, Rullie and Ulfah, in the Jolo bombing, only JAD Makassar had the thought of simulating similar operations. Indeed, the role of personal and family relationships in terrorist dynamics in Indonesia has a long history. The Makassar bombing simply shows that even so far, between the “rise of online radicalization” and the attacks of lone wolves, such relationships are still important. attention.

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