Indonesia: Why Bashir’s sentence does not end the Jihadi threat

An interesting comment on this important sentence, though as the article reveals it is far from ending the Jihadi threat in Indonesia:

Today’s verdict, is, in some ways a victory for Indonesia. Since the bold and bloody Bali Bombings of 2002, the archipelago nation has been under tremendous pressure to tackle terrorism. In 2003, with support from the United States and Australia, Indonesia formed Detachment 88, a counter-terror squad staffed by the elite of the country’s police and special forces. The unit has earned acclaim for its success building an extensive intelligence network and conducting undercover operations. They’ve arrested, detained or killed hundreds of leaders and foot soldiers. They’ve also made modest strides in de-radicalization. “You want to know why Indonesia has done well fighting terrorism? We have no Guantánamo prisons,” psychologist Sarlito Wirawan Sarwono, who instructs Detachment 88 officers in interrogation tactics told TIME last year. “Our police understand the terrorists’ psyches.”

To an extent, sure. But the threat persists. Even as cells are shuttered, or clerics tried, new groups emerge. Maria Ressa, an expert on radical Islam in Indonesia likens it to the spread of a virus: The ‘jihadi virus’ grew out of the crucible of Afghanistan, she says, and was carried to Southeast Asia by veterans who trained and taught in the Philippines and elsewhere.  Their ideology passed, friend to friend, family to family, changing as it spread. “The virus is resilient,” she told me recently. “It mutates.

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