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Indonesian Attack Seen as ‘Individual Jihad’

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An international research group says violent extremism in Indonesia, such as a suicide bombing last week at a mosque in West Java, increasingly is the work of small groups acting independently of large terrorist networks.

The International Crisis Group said in a report Tuesday that an emerging pattern of violence involves targeted killings, rather than “indiscriminate” bombings. In Indonesia, the study's authors said, small local groups tend to carry out targeted-killing plots against police, Christians or members of a minority Muslim sect.

The report from the Brussels-based ICG comes one day after Indonesian police said they positively identified the remains of a suicide bomber who killed himself and wounded 30 people at a mosque compound located on the grounds of a West Java police station. Authorities said the dead man had been wanted for a recent attack on a small market selling alcohol.

The International Crisis Group report also cited a string of letter bombs delivered in Jakarta last month as evidence of the shift toward terrorism on a local scale. The group attributed this trend, in part, to successful efforts by the Indonesian government to structurally weaken large terror groupings.

The report calls for urgent action to develop outreach programs and intervention strategies aimed at reaching young people who are often lured into extremism by large terror groupings such as Jemaah Islamiyah.

ICG analysts examined detailed case studies of small violent groups that have appeared in Java since 2009, and it noted that each group included one or more former prisoners.

Three or four of the groups had links to mosque-based study groups that evolved into assassination squads, the ICG said, and all were committed to the idea of secret assassinations. Three or four of the groups did have links to the large terror groupJamaah Ansharut Tauhid (JAT), but they operated independently of JAT control.

Article by VOA News