Posts Tagged ‘Indonesia’

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Indonesia says terror financing “kingpin” is native Australian

September 15, 2015

Indonesia’s financial intelligence unit has traced the source of half a million dollars for jihad in Syria:  an Australian man married to a Javanese woman.  An Indonesian official says, “That man collected money from many people in Australia” (emphasis mine).  Hopefully this intelligence is being shared with Australian intelligence and law enforcement.  From the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (h/t @skinroller) on Sept. 13:

Australian man linked to cash supporting terrorism, sending fighters to Syria: Indonesia

Indonesian authorities have revealed they have linked an Australian man to $500,000 they suspect has been used to support terrorism and send Indonesian nationals to Syria to fight with Islamic State.

The Australian man is married to an Indonesian woman who the ABC understands is from Java but is now living in Australia.

In an exclusive interview with the ABC, Agus Santoso, the deputy chair of Indonesia’s financial intelligence body Intrac, said they had tracked 5 billion rupiah from bank accounts in Australia that has been transferred to at least 10 accounts in Indonesia.

“That man collected money from many people in Australia. Then he sent it to his wife’s account in Indonesia,” Mr Santoso said.

“So this Indonesian woman was used to open some bank accounts which we suspect have links with terrorism suspects.

“What is surprising is that the kingpin is not an immigrant. In my opinion he is native Australian, not an immigrant. I mean, he is white.”

Intrac, also known as the Financial Transactions and Analysis Centre (PPATK), has tracked the money since 2012 and said some of the funds were still active in Indonesian accounts.

Mr Santoso said he strongly suspected the money was being used to send Indonesians to Syria, while also funding IS recruitment to strengthen the terrorist network in Indonesia.

He said $500,000 goes a long way in Indonesia.

“It only costs $250 to make a bomb,” he said…

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UN adds JI’s “humanitarian” wing to Al Qaeda sanctions list

March 27, 2015

The UN, Australia, and Canada have added the Hilal Ahmar Society Indonesia (HASI) to their list of sanctioned Al Qaeda entities according to Mr. Watchlist. HASI is also known as Yayasan Hilal Ahmar or the Indonesia Hilal Ahmar Society for Syria. It “operates in Lampung, Jakarta, Semarang, Yogyakarta, Solo, Surabaya and Makassar, Indonesia,” according to the sanctions announcement, which describes HASI as “recruiting, funding and facilitating travel of foreign terrorist fighters to Syria.”

The U.S. sanctioned HASI, which calls itself the “humanitarian wing” of the terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah, in September of last year.

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Indonesia nabs 6 ISIS fundraisers

March 24, 2015

Counter-terror police in Indonesia have arrested six people on charges of recruiting and funding jihadists to join the fight in Iraq and Syria. Young Muslim men the world over are answering the call of ISIS. They all need money for airfare. They’re getting that money from (usually) older men like those who were just arrested in Indonesia.  Many of the recruits are flying into Turkey.

From Sunday’s Jakarta Globe (h/t: El Grillo):

Densus 88 Arrests Six People Over Islamic State Recruitment

By Jakarta Globe on Mar 22, 2015

Jakarta. The National Police’s anti-terror squad Densus 88 on Saturday arrested six people for allegedly helping recruit and fund Indonesians to travel to Syria and Iraq to fight with the Islamic State (IS) militant group.

“We arrested six people, but it seems that only four people were actively involved [in recruiting],” said Comr. Gen. Badrodin Haiti, deputy chief of the National Police.

The arrests were made in Kebayoran Baru in South Jakarta, Bekasi and South Tangerang. Badrodin said the four allegedly funded and recruited Indonesians, and prepared IS propaganda.

On Sunday Densus 88 officers raided the Bogor home of Muhammad Amin Mude, who was one of the six detained on Saturday.

“We suspect him to have been involved in facilitating and helping fund local citizens who are going to Iraq and Syria,” Densus 88 spokesperson Sr. Comr. Faisal Tayeb said on Sunday.

He added police confiscated a number of IS related documents.

Amin’s wife, Wirda Lukman, has vehemently denied the allegations…

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ISIS raises cash in Indonesia for Iraqi jihad

July 1, 2014

Time reports that it’s legal to raise money for terrorism in Indonesia. Al Qaeda in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is taking advantage of this by fundraising openly around the capital. It seems that loyalties and the center of gravity is shifting internationally away from “traditional” Al Qaeda core leaders like Zawahiri toward the ascendant ISIS. From (h/t El Grillo and Terrorism Watch):

…Indonesia has a different approach to jihadism than its neighbors. Though terrorist attacks are punishable by death, it is not illegal to raise money for or join a foreign jihadist group. In contrast, in late April, Malaysia arrested 10 militants — eight men and two women — who planned to travel to Syria to take part in the war. In March, Singapore said it was investigating the departure of a national to join the Syrian jihad.

Emboldened by Indonesia’s more tolerant attitude, ISIS supporters there have become more visible and openly solicit funds. Theyheld a collection in February at an Islamic state university on the outskirts of Jakarta and held a rally in the capital’s central business district in March. On June 15, a Sunday morning when one of the main streets in the Central Javanese city of Solo is transformed into a weekly car-free zone for strolling families, militants from Jamaah Ansharut Tauhid, a JI splinter cell, paraded in ISIS insignia, waved ISIS flags and wreaked havoc on a music performance.

They are also quite active on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Iqbal Kholidi, who tracks and observes Indonesian ISIS supporters on social media, has culled photos of them training and posing with the signature black flags from across the country — in Jakarta, Central Java, South Kalimantan and Poso, Central Sulawesi…

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Indonesia becomes den of thieves for jihad

August 19, 2013

Eurasia Review has a very good article by V. Arianti laying out the dwindling funds available from international Muslim donors to Indonesian jihadists, and the replacement of those revenues with theft and bank robberies–a trend we’ve been following for a while.

Arianti correctly points out that terrorists in Indonesia have justified these robberies on the basis of Islamic law.  Reliance on theft is also a possible indicator of a weak financial status of the terrorist organizations involved.  Historically, terrorist groups turn to crime when they lack enough external or political support.

Thanks to El Grillo for sending this over:

Indonesian Terrorism Financing: Resorting To Robberies – Analysis

July 30, 2013

A record number of robberies have been perpetrated by terrorists in Indonesia over the past three years. This could be a sign of their inability to secure donations and international funding, the result of counter operations against terrorist and extremist groups.

By V. Arianti

SINCE 2010, there have been dozens of bank heists conducted by numerous terrorist cells, some of them linked to Mujahidin Indonesia Timur (Mujahidin of Eastern Indonesia or MIT). Led by Santoso, MIT is currently the most dangerous terrorist group in Indonesia and is responsible for a string of deadly attacks against police. Besides banks, the terrorists have also robbed gold shops, mobile phone shops, post offices, money changers, internet cafes, grocery stores, and construction material shops.

In the first half of 2013 alone, MIT’s funding arm, Mujahidin Indonesia Barat (Mujahidin of Western Indonesia or MIB) led by Abu Roban, reaped a total of Rp 1.8 billion (US$180,000) from a series of bank heists. While in the past, Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) and its splinter cells had conducted robberies to supplement their funding for terrorist attacks, two factors may explain the significant increase in the number of heists since 2010.

Dearth of international funding

Firstly, terrorist groups are finding it increasingly difficult to procure funding from international sources since the killing and arrests of key figures in the international fundraising network in 2009 and the growing decentralised nature of their network. Each cell is at present mostly manned by youths lacking international connections which the terrorist operatives of the past had.

The terrorism landscape in Indonesia prior to 2010 was characterised by the ability of key figures such as Hambali and Noordin Mohammed Top to attract international donors willing to fund high-profile attacks in Indonesia. Al-Qaeda allegedly funded the 2002 and 2005 Bali bombings, the 2003 J.W. Marriott bombing and 2004 Australian Embassy bombing in Jakarta.

The 2009 J.W. Marriot and Ritz Carlton Bombing was allegedly funded through a Saudi national, Ali Khelaiw Ali Abdullah who reportedly had a list of potential global donors. Another person with international connections for terrorism fundraising was Muhammad Jibril who allegedly flew with Ali in 2008 to Pakistan to establish contact with Al-Qaeda operatives and to Saudi Arabia to solicit funds to carry out attacks in Indonesia.

However, Jibril was in prison from August 2009 to November 2012. Abdullah Sunata, another key figure who had supplied funds from the Middle East for the insurgents in Southern Philippines, was arrested in June 2010 and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.

Secondly, terrorists are not able to secure enough money through “legitimate” means, such as donations from sympathisers. The extremist community has set up a few charities to provide financial assistance to the families of terrorists such as Gashibu Nusantara. However, if indeed a portion of the funds did go to terrorist cells, the sum would not only be insufficient, but also might not reach all cells equally.

Religious justification for robbery

In addition, the fact that some fugitive terrorists complained online of the reluctance among the extremist community to give them substantial financial assistance for fear of being arrested is likely another factor for resorting to robberies.

Although terrorists were able to gain sufficient proceeds from criminal activities, only a small portion actually went to funding activities, including for weapons procurement or training. Indonesia’s Counter Terrorism Agency (BNPT) Chairman Ansyaad Mbai in June 2013 noted that the terrorists used the rest of the money for personal gain. It is in line with terrorists’ arguments that it is religiously justified if they use funds for personal expenditure. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Suspects robbed banks to fund terror

May 19, 2013
Indonesian law enforcement detain a hooded jihadist

Indonesian police hauling off one of the suspects

Indonesian police have carried out raids against 20 terrorists who were involved with raising money for jihad.  The men were involved with bank robberies in at least three different cities, and at least one jewel heist in Jakarta.  Four of the detainees had immediate plans for a new bank robbery in central Java.

Indonesian jihadists have previously asserted that robbing banks to finance terrorism is compliant with Islamic law.

From the Jakarta Post on May 10:

Terror suspects linked to Poso

The National Police’s counterterrorism unit, Densus 88, conducted a series of successful overnight operations against terrorists with links to the Abu Omar and Autad Rawa groups, the police say.

The 20 terror suspects — seven killed and 13 arrested — in the raids across Java are linked to the groups that collect money to support the activities of mujahidin (those engaged in jihad) in Poso, Central Sulawesi.

Early investigations indicated that the men had been involved in armed robberies at Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) offices in three cities.

“They stole Rp 790 million [US$81,192] from BRI in Batang and Rp 630 million from BRI Grobogan [both in Central Java]; and Rp 460 million from BRI Lampung. They also attempted to burn down Glodok Market in West Jakarta,” said National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar on Thursday as quoted by Antara news agency.

The suspects carried out various initiatives to collect money, including robbery.

“Four alleged terrorists were planning a robbery in Kebumen [Central Java], when they were arrested in an overnight raid in the regency,” said Boy.

It is alleged that one suspect, Abu Roban alias Untung, had been involved in some robbery cases — a jewelry store in Tambora, West Jakarta; as well as the three BRI offices — before Densus 88 officers killed him in Batang.

Police linked the suspects with Santoso, who is believed to be behind a series of attacks in Poso over the past few years.

Santoso himself is a former member of a terror group led by Basri, a member of the Jamaah Islamiyah (JI) group. Basri surrendered to police after a gunfight on Feb. 1, 2007, in Poso where a Muslim-Christian conflict killed at least 1,000 people over the course of 1998 to 2002.

On Wednesday and Thursday, Densus 88 personnel raided areas in Batang, Kebumen and Kendal in Central Java; Bandung in West Java; and Banten. During the raids, the officers shot dead seven suspects and 3 others were captured alive.

“The terror suspects killed during the raids were identified as Abu Roban, Bastari, Toni, Bayu alias Ucup, Budi alias Angga, Junet alias Encek and Sarame,” Boy announced.

The suspects captured alive in Jakarta were Agus Widharto, Agung, Endang, Faisal alias Boim and Iman.

Iwan and Puryanto were arrested in Kendal. While four others — Budi, Farel, Slamet and Wagiono — were apprehended in Kebumen.

The two suspects arrested in Bandung were Haris Fauzi alias Jablud and William Maksum, alias Acum alias Dadan.

The bodies of the three dead men were flown to Dr. Sukamto Police Hospital in Kramat Jati, East Jakarta, on Thursday after being examined at Bhayangkara Hospital in Semarang.

During the raid in Ciputat, Densus 88 officers confiscated Rp 25.48 million, while in the Bandung raid, the police found two revolvers, an FN Browning pistol, hundreds of bullets and Rp 6 million in cash…

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Hacker who financed church bombing sentenced

February 13, 2013

http://s3.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?m=02&d=20110925&t=2&i=506488479&w=&fh=&fw=&ll=460&pl=300&r=2011-09-25T121332Z_01_BTRE78O0XYN00_RTROPTP_0_INDONESIA-EXPLOSION

“IT protégé” Cahya Fitrianta conspired to steal billions of rupiah with Rizki Gunawan to fund terrorism in Indonesia.  They were somewhat successful by their own standards:  bankrolling a bomb strike on a church in Solo, Indonesia, left two dead and fourteen parishioners injured.

Cahya has been sentenced to eight years for terrorism and money laundering activities.  From the Jakarta Globe on Feb. 6:

Computer Hacker Sentenced to 8 Years for Role in Terror Group

A computer hacker who accessed money from a website and then laundered it to fund terrorist activity in the Central Sulawesi city of Poso was convicted by the West Jakarta District Court on Tuesday.

Cahya Fitrianta was sentenced to eight years in prison and ordered to pay a Rp 500 million ($51,000) fine. Prosecutors had sought a 12-year sentence.

Presiding judge Erlita S. Ginting said the defendant had violated multiple articles under the anti-terrorism and money laundering laws.

“Aside from engaging in a vicious conspiracy, the defendant was also found guilty of laundering money, which he obtained from hacking the http://www.speedline.com website and used the proceeds to fund military training in Poso,” said Erlita.

Cahya’s lawyer said he will consider whether to appeal.

“We will think about it. If the public prosecutor plans to appeal, we’re ready for it. But our camp cannot accept the accusation about violating an article on money laundering because there were no facts [to support it] or [data] regarding the source of the money,” Cahya’s attorney, Farid Ghozali, said after the trial.

The public prosecutor said it would appeal the sentence because it was lower than the jail term sought.

Cahya was arrested in May last year in a Bandung hotel. The defendant, along with another man, Rizki Gunawan, have been linked by police to a group known to fund terrorist activities.

Police in May arrested Rizki, accusing him of hacking a marketing firm’s website to steal money in order to fund militant training.

The duo stole billions of rupiah over two years by hacking websites, and used some of the money to fund the bombing of a church in Solo on Sept, 25, 2011.

Cahya was also previously accused of channeling money to terrorism suspect Umar Patek, who was sentenced this year to 20 years for his role in the 2002 Bali bombing.

Central Sulawesi has become a hot-bed of extremism in recent years, as terror groups seek to fund and prepare activities.