The US is seeking the extradition of Christian Ganczarski from France, where he has been imprisoned since 2003. A French court convicted Ganczarski on terror-related charges for his role in the Apr. 11, 2002 suicide bombing at a synagogue in Djerba, Tunisia. The bomber called Ganczarski beforehand to receive his “blessing.” A newly-released indictment focuses on Ganczarski’s other ties to al Qaeda, including a plot targeting American interests in Australia.
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.
While jihadist groups in the Philippines were thought to have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State since late 2014, a video released last month by Islamic State supporters in the country confirmed these speculations. In a video released a few days ago by an Islamic State media outlet, the jihadist group officially recognized the pledges.
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.
A closer look at recent developments in a number of countries should dispel any illusions that the Islamic State’s aspirations and activities are only regional.
Does Islamic State ideology threaten Indonesia?
Zulkifli bin Hir, a most-wanted terrorist linked to Jemaah Islamiyah, Abu Sayyaf, and the KMM who was reported killed in 2012, is operating in the southern Philippines.
Abdul Basit Usman was rumored to have been killed in a US drone strike in North Waziristan, Pakistan in 2010. He has since been spotted in the Philippines.