Indonesian terrorism funded by ISIS in the Middle East

Women hold placards during a vigil outside the damaged Starbucks in Jakarta on Jan 15, 2016.
Women hold placards during a vigil outside the damaged Starbucks in Jakarta on Jan 15, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

JAKARTA (Jakarta Post/Asia News Network) - The Indonesian government has uncovered billions of rupiah, originating from the Middle East, strongly suspected of funding terrorism in the country.

Throughout 2015, the Financial and Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (PPATK) had been tracing funds shrouded behind a complex layer of networks, said PPATK deputy head Agus Sentosa on Friday (Jan 15).

The organisation was ordered by the National Police Densus 88 counter-terrorism squad to uncover the source and allocation of the funds.

Together, PPATK and Densus 88 have successfully mapped out the financial flow of terror networks in Indonesia, including the people who are involved.

Agus said he could not reveal further details due to the sensitive nature of the information. He also could not specify the amount of money that was sent from the Middle East specifically for the Jakarta bombings that took place on Thursday, resulting in the deaths of seven people, five of whom were the terrorists that had instigated the attack.

"The main thing is, PPATK assisted Densus 88 to reveal the network. Densus followed the suspects, while we uncovered the network through the flow of funds," Agus said as quoted by kompas.com. The government will continue to monitor terrorists' movements intensively, he added.

Agus noted that the patterns of financing terrorist acts in Indonesia had changed. Previously money had come from plunder and charity in places of worship, now finance is sourced by managing companies, he added.

"Three years ago, they may have collected alms (or used) funds they got from robberies. Now this has shifted to income gained from companies they manage," Agus said, adding that the amount of money gained from alms or robbery was small.

Previously, National Police chief General Badrodin Haiti had revealed that PPATK had detected funds from alleged terrorist Bahrun Naim, who police now believe to be in Syria. "In November 2015, (Bahrun) sent funds to the (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) in Indonesia," Badrodin said.

Densus 88 detained Bahrun in November 2010 for the illegal possession of ammunition and he was sentenced to at least 2 and a half years behind bars. Following his release, Bahrun moved to Syria to join ISIS.

The funds had been sent to two ISIS members in Solo, Central Java. The police did not disclose any further information with regard to the identities of those on the receiving end of the funds.