Indonesian militants are using parcel bombs and targeting minorities to try to push an Islamist agenda on the government and they could launch further small attacks, the country’s anti-terror agency chief told Reuters. Militant attacks and incidents of religious intolerance have risen in recent weeks, with mobs lynching three followers of a minority Islamic sect and torching two churches on Java island. Parcel bombs have been sent to people involved in promoting pluralism and counter-terrorism in Jakarta.
The head of the National Counter-Terrorism Agency, Ansyaad Mbai, said Islamic organisations that had not previously been involved in acts of terror were joining a militant network in Indonesia because of a convergence on certain issues.
“Terrorism is politics. The motive is politics, and clearly the militant network’s aim is to affect political policy,” Mbai said in an interview at his barricaded office in a former colonial building in central Jakarta.
Mbai said radical groups were putting pressure on the government to grant demands to dissolve the Ahmadi, a minority Islamic sect branded deviant by religious leaders in the world’s most populous Muslim nation. Members of the Islamic Defenders Front FPI.L, known for smashing up bars but not considered a terrorist group, have threatened to launch a revolution if the Ahmadi sect is not banned.