Indonesian probe into terrorist act leads to radical Muslim group

09:21, May 20, 2011      

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Indonesian police revealed the linkage of terrorist who blew himself up in a police headquarters in Cirebon, West Java, to an embattled Muslim cleric leading a radical Muslim group, who is now undertaking series of trials charged with committing terrorism in the country.

After conducting series of investigation into the background and life records of Muhammad Syarif, a terrorist suspect that committed suicide bombing inside a mosque located in Cirebon police headquarters in mid-April, police found out that Syarif was closely linked to Ansharut Tauhid, a hardliner Muslim group led by Abu Bakar Ba'asyir.

"He (Syarif) was directly sworn in by Abu Bakar Bashir together with nine people at Tasikmalaya, West Java," National Police spokesman Anton Bachrul Alam said on Thursday. According to Anton, the radical group wants to convert Indonesia into an Islamic country by implementing strict interpretation of Sharia law in the country.

Syarif was an active member of the Cirebon branch of Ansharut Tauhid. He was seen in several violent protests against Muslim splinter group Ahmadiyah in Cirebon. In TV archive footages that were aired frequently after the bombing in Cirebon police headquarters, Syarif was seen as the most violent figure among the protesting crowd when they confronted police who guarded the Ahmadiyah followers.

Syarif also taped himself when he pledged his oath to continue his struggle in reaching his cause to see an Islamic state set up in Indonesia. In short video file found in his cellular phone and showed to public by the police, he said that he would fight the infidels to materialize his cause.

Abu Bakar Ba'asyir was an embattled Muslim cleric figure who led an Islamic boarding school in Surakarta, Central Java. He was arrested under allegations of partly financing terrorist group's military training in a camp set up in Jantho, Aceh that was foiled by police earlier last year.

Many of the terrorists committing deadly bombing acts and terror activities previously had been studying in the Ba'asyir school. Some of them had been arrested, undergone trials in civil courts and some were executed to death.

Indonesian authorities are now intensifying their hunt on terror groups' operatives following the attack on police headquarters. They shot two alleged terrorists in Surakarta, Central Java recently and arrested several people allegedly linked to them.

From the preliminary results of the investigation intp the arrested terrorists, it was learned that the terrorist group intended to undertake sporadic acts against the government and carry out Mumbai-model attack that occurred in November 2008, aimed at controlling the country's vital localities to establish an Islamic state in Indonesia.

Indonesia has seen a string of deadly terror acts conducted by extremists that already took hundreds of lives. Bali and Jakarta saw the most frequent bomb attacks carried out by terrorist groups who targeted foreigners and U.S.-linked interests. The bombing in Bali that took place on October 12, 2002 took the lives of more than 200 locals and foreigners who packed two bars in Bali's capital city of Denpasar.

Source: Xinhua
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