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Indonesian editor who published anti-ISIS cartoon is summoned under blasphemy law




The new head of Indonesia's counterterrorism agency warned that the number of Indonesians joining the Islamic State has more than tripled since June, and said the total number of Indonesians who have joined the group in Iraq and Syria is about 514. The Jakarta Post's chief editor was named a suspect in a blasphemy case because the newspaper published an article critical of the Islamic State that carried an allegedly offensive cartoon; the action against the editor came several days after the newspaper had apologized and withdrawn the cartoon.




Indonesian authorities denied media reports that 350 members of the al Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiyah terrorist group are being released from prison, and said in any event there are only about 274 terrorist inmates. Malaysia's counterterrorism police chief said the releases will take place over the next two years. A human rights group warned that the Nov. 6 shooting attack at the home of reformist politician Pak Amien in Yogyakarta was an attempt at intimidation by terrorists. The Home Ministry has yet to review Aceh bylaws based on sharia law that call for harsh punishments and are applied to Muslims and non-Muslims alike, despite calls for repeal by human rights groups.




World Leaders at Asian Meetings Warn on Middle East Extremism




Jakarta governor calls for hardline group, Islamic Defenders Front, to be disbanded




Malaysia Memo: The Right to Say 'God' Divides a Diverse Nation




Police arrested 20 members of the hardline Islam Defenders Front (FPI) after more than 10 police officers were wounded during a violent FPI protest in Jakarta. Among those arrested was Irwan, an FPI member who organized the event, which protested against an incoming deputy governor because he is Christian and Chinese. A rights group called for the repeal of Islamic bylaws in Aceh that impose sharia punishments such as whipping on non-Muslims and infringe on basic human rights.




Detachment 88 counterterrorism forces have arrested four ethnic Uighurs in the Poso district of Sulewesi who had entered the country with fake passports and are suspected of links to the Islamic State. The suspects were reportedly trying to meet with Santoso, the head of the Eastern Indonesia Mujahideen. Militants in Santoso's group are thought to have murdered a Poso man they accused of being a spy. The sharia penalty of public caning was imposed in Aceh on nine men for gambling.




The Islamic State's global reach




Does Islamic State ideology threaten Indonesia?




The Detachment 88 counterterrorism squad arrested Jemaah Anshorut Tauhid leader Afif Abdul Majid, who was added to the US' global terrorist list in 2013. Majid, who recently returned from Syria, has pledged support to the Islamic State, along with jailed al Qaeda-linked cleric Abu Bakar Ba'asyir. Although the government reportedly banned IS ideology within the past few weeks, groups supporting IS have held meetings in Jakarta, Solo in Central Java, and Bima in West Nusa Tenggara.




MH370: New evidence of cockpit tampering as investigation into missing plane continues




Indonesia bans Hollywood epic 'Noah' over Islamic concerns




Sunni clerics at a mosque in West Java denounced Shiites as heretical and vowed to take any measures to prevent the spread of Shiite teachings. A video was posted on jihadist forums featuring wanted terrorist leader Abu Warda Santoso, the head of the Mujahidin Indonesia Timur (East Indonesian Mujahideen), who incited Muslims to kill members of the Detachment 88 counterterrorism squad, whom he called agents of the US and Australia.




Islamic Political Parties Make A Comeback in Indonesian Election




Indonesia's Islamist parties surprise with strong showing in election




Islamists in Jakarta and Bekasi recently demonstrated in support of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham. Aceh, a province with 5 million inhabitants, has adopted a bylaw requiring both Muslims and non-Muslims to abide by sharia; sharia authorities are empowered to make arrests; confiscate property; detain suspects for 30 days prior to trial; and impose prison terms, fines, and punishments such as caning. Under the law, Christians would be prohibited from celebrating Communion with wine. The federal government has not yet approved the law. On Jan. 21, Sigit Indrajid, a member of the Negara Islam Indonesia who plotted to bomb the Myanmar Embassy, was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison.




Indonesian Militants Join Fight in Syria




An Indonesian think tank says the Syrian conflict is drawing Indonesian jihadists, particularly those affiliated with Jemaah Islamiyah. The government estimated in December that 50 Indonesians have gone to Syria to fight with the rebels. In Syria, some are said to have linked up with Ahrar al Sham, others with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham. Back home, some align with ISIS and others with the Al Nusrah Front. Over the past month, the Detachment 88 counterterrorism squad has conducted raids in Ciputat, South Tangerang, and Kenjeran, Surabaya, East Java. Many of the terror cells are linked to Mujahidin Indonesia Timur, which is headed by most-wanted leader Santoso.




Drop in sea piracy helped by big Somali improvement, says watchdog


 
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