NII: The father of modern radical Islam

Understanding the country’s violent jihadist movements that have triggered a string of terrorist attacks may not be possible without studying the outlawed Islamic State of Indonesia movement, known locally as Negara Islam Indonesia (NII).

The NII, founded by charismatic ulema Sekarmadji Maridjan Kartosoewirjo in August, 1949, is a political movement intent on turning Indonesia into an Islamic state, and fully implementing sharia law.

Although Kartosoewirjo was executed by the military in 1962 for propagating separatism, his ideas and teachings remain alive today, and continue to inspire thousands of Muslims across the archipelago to dream of an Islamic caliphate.

The military has since Kartosoewirjo’s death handed down amnesties to NII’s subsequent leaders in the hopes that they would cooperate and relinquish their hard-line ideology.

But NII’s followers remained united albeit loosely by forging enduring personal relationships throughout the archipelago, and passing on their teachings, albeit straying from Kartosoewirjo’s vision in the process.
An education: Students recite the Koran at the Wali Barokah 
Islamic Boarding School in Kediri, East Java, on May 5. The Indonesian 
Islamic Propagation Institute (LDII) has denied any link with factions 
of the outlawed Islamic State of Indonesia (NII) movement. Antara/Arief 
PriyonoAn education: Students recite the Koran at the Wali Barokah Islamic Boarding School in Kediri, East Java, on May 5. The Indonesian Islamic Propagation Institute (LDII) has denied any link with factions of the outlawed Islamic State of Indonesia (NII) movement. Antara/Arief Priyono
Many children of NII leaders and stout followers of the organization’s early days are still in close contact with one another.

NII’s founding ideology has spawned a range of terrorist network, including Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), and a number of hard-line underground organizations.

The father of chief patron of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), Hilmi Aminuddin, was one of the NII’s top leaders in its early days.

Alleged terrorist mastermind Abu Bakar Ba’asyir, who cofounded the JI with his senior, Abdullah Sungkar, was profoundly inspired by the NII movement.

The bombing of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta in 2004 and the forming of a terrorist training camp in Aceh in 2010, for example, were masterminded by a team comprising of JI and NII members, according to police reports.

The NII splinters, however, have also turned into merely profit-oriented groups, including the notorious NII KW9, which is widely believed to be led by Panji Gumilang, also known as Abu Toto.

Panji is the founder of Al-Zaytun boarding school in Indramayu, West Java — Southeast Asia’s largest Islamic boarding school.

Panji repeatedly denied his role in the organization.

But many experts believe his followers have been using hypnotism to recruit new members, who would later be extorted by their leaders.

“If you talk about the NII, most people associate the movement with the KW9 faction, with its scary stories of brainwashing members,” terrorism expert Al Chaidar of the University of Indonesia said.

“But the NII has other factions that propagate violence and are more dangerous compared to the KW9,” he said.

According to Al Chaidar, who is also a former NII member, there are now 14 NII splinter factions operating throughout the country, with several members linked to terrorism.

Half of the factions are categorized as violent with involvement in terrorism.

The latest one includes the Tahmid Rahmad faction in Malangbong, Aceh, which was allegedly behind the recruitment of university graduate Pepi Fernando.

The police have alleged that Pepi, along with four other graduates, masterminded the recent distribution of book bombs to several noted figures in Jakarta, and a thwarted attempt to bomb a church in Serpong, Banten, during Easter.

Several of the NII non-violent factions are believed to have been neutralized by the intelligence community as tools to help neutralize the NII radical ideology as well as to minimize the ideology distribution of communism during the Cold War, according to Al Chaidar.

“NII has a long history, and we’re still at war with its seemingly proliferating ideology. It’ll be a long fight until we can win,” Al Chaidar said.











  source: http://www.thejakartapost.com


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