Daily Management Review

Homegrown Jihadi Intellectual Behind Islamic State Attack on Indonesia say Police


Homegrown Jihadi Intellectual Behind Islamic State Attack on Indonesia say Police
Bahrun Naim, identified by police as the mastermind behind the deadly attack on Jakarta claimed by Islamic State, was quietly running an Internet cafe in the small Indonesian city of Solo seven years ago.
Naim is believed by police to have been pulling the strings from Raqqa, the radical group's de facto capital in Syria.
Naim was jailed for three years after his arrest in 2011 for possession of illegal arms. After his release from jail Naim, police say, became a key player in militant networks that have sprouted around Solo and across Central Java.
Police believe Naim was closely involved in coordinating Thursday's assault after he left for Syria to join the frontlines of Islamic State about a year ago.
Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim nation where the Islamic State wants to establish an Asian beachhead for its "caliphate" as five of the attackers and two civilians were killed in the group’s first strike against the country.
There had been hints of what was to come for weeks.
The militant intellectual published a blog in which he explained to his followers how it was easy to move jihad from "guerrilla warfare" in Indonesia's equatorial jungles to a city after the coordinated attacks across Paris in November.
In a quesry by Reuters on November last year, Naim had said that there were more than enough Islamic State supporters to "carry out an action" in Indonesia.
"Just waiting for the right trigger," the man identifying himself as Naim said, Rueters had reported.
Intelligence officials began to pick up talk in social messaging chatrooms that an attack on Indonesia was imminent said intelligence experts.

"Chatter among Islamists began to become more organized last month and there were discussions for the first time of a multiple attack," said a Jakarta-based security adviser, who monitors radical group discussions on mobile messaging services for the government.
Counter-terrorism officials believe there are at least 1,000 sympathizers of the radical jihadist group across Indonesia.
People suspected of planning attacks over the Christmas and New Year holidays across the populous island of Java were arrested after the eavesdropping which helped lead police to the arrest of more than a dozen men from Java.
The raids had found bomb-making materials, a suicide vest and "jihad manuals". Naim, who believes Indonesia should be governed strictly as an Islamic country, was behind the funding and supporting of some of those rounded up.
Jakarta Police Chief Tito Karnavian said on Thursday that Naim had been planning the attack on Indonesia's capital for a while. He added that Naim clearly had ambitions to become "the leader" of Islamic State in Southeast Asia.
There was only a slim chance in Indonesia of an attack on the scale seen in Paris, Sidney Jones, a Jakarta-based expert on Islamist militants at the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict had said in a report in November. However she had warned then that the threat was growing under the government's nose.
Jones had noted that Naim urged his Indonesian audience to study the planning, targeting, timing, coordination, security and courage of the Paris jihadis.