Last week, a 22-year old IS follower stabbed several police officers and was found to be carrying a pipe bomb—the latest in Indonesia's IS-linked attacks that began in January when four militants launched an attack in downtown Jakarta. "IS supporters have specifically urged each other to emulate this young man, whose bravery was cited in IS bulletin Al-Naba," Jones stated.
Social media has long been the terror vehicle's preferred means for boosting its international membership base, but IS is increasingly working on the ground with local militant cells in countries such as Indonesia.
"IS is also using other mechanisms to exploit the situation by networking with and influencing diverse parties to join IS and its affiliated groups in Indonesia," said Rohan Gunaratna, head of the International Center for Political Violence and Terrorism Research at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University.
Since the Arab Spring, the bloc—also called the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria—has exploited protests and demonstrations to expand its support base, he added.
President Jokowi, who postponed a state visit to Australia on Saturday as a result of the unrest, has called for national calm but critics say he must do more to crack down aggressively on this issue.
"IS will succeed if government is not proactive and bold," Gunaratna cautioned.
By letting the anti-Ahok hated build for more than a month, the government was also ignoring the constitution, Jones flagged.
"If the MUI's arguments were to be accepted by the state, it would be a rejection of the compromise worked out in 1945 between secular nationalists and Muslim leaders that obliged Indonesians to believe in one God but dropped a phrase requiring Muslims to follow Islamic law."
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