On Aug. 24, the US Treasury Department designated three Islamic State recruiters as terrorists. The trio appeared in a June 2016 beheading video that was used to recruit fighters from Southeast Asia. The new designation is the latest in a series of moves taken by the US government to target the Islamic State’s global network with financial sanctions and other measures.
According to authorities, an ISIS-linked family carried out suicide bombings at three churches in the Indonesian city of Surabaya earlier today. The bombings came just days after other ISIS-affiliated militants conducted a prison riot south of Jakarta. ISIS has long targeted Christians, among many others. The group previously ruled that suicide attacks aimed at churches were an acceptable way to attain “closeness to Allah.”
The Islamic State claims that its “soldiers” were responsible for a prison riot south of Jakarta, Indonesia yesterday. A police spokesman was quick to dismiss the group’s statements, images and a video purportedly shot at the scene. Instead, he blamed the clash on a fight over food.
The US government has designated Myrna Mabanza, an Islamic State facilitator based in the Philippines, as a terrorist. The Treasury Department identifies Mabanza as a woman in her mid-20s who has worked with some of the Islamic State’s most senior personnel in Southeast Asia and has also served as an “intermediary” to jihadists in Syria.
State’s designation notes that the Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia (MMI), which is responsible for several terrorist attacks in Indonesia, also has ties to al Qaeda’s branch in Syria.
On Mar. 30, the US Treasury Department designated Bahrun Naim as a terrorist. Naim is one of the most prolific planners of the Islamic State’s so-called “remote-controlled” attacks. Most of his plots have been thwarted by counterterrorism officials, but he has a broad network of supporters in Indonesia.
Abu Warda Santoso As Syarqi Al Indunisi declared allegiance to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi days after the Islamic State emir announced the formation of the caliphate. Santoso has called on Indonesians to attack Special Detachment 88, the counter-terrorism police.
Indonesian police have linked the attack to a jihadist based in Syria. Two jihadists factions in Indonesia, Jemaah Ansharut Tauhid and Mujahidin Indonesian Timur, have pledged loyalty to the Islamic State.