posted by Christopher W. Holton

East Asia Forum has an important article posted on the proliferation of charities supporting Jihadist groups in Indonesia. This has been a problem for well over a decade now as Indonesian security and intelligence services battle terrorists both kinetically and in the financial realm.

Here are the highlights of the article, as well as a link. We encourage everyone to read the article in its entirety…

“…the proliferation of extremist charities exposes the families of incarcerated or slain militants to extremist influence.”

“Providing stipends and financial assistance to militants’ families is part of the organisational expenses of terrorist groups. This is to support the militant — typically male and the sole breadwinner in the family — in focussing on his militant objectives without worrying about the welfare of his family. For example, US$15,000 out of US$100,000 sent by al-Qaeda to Jemaah Islamiyah in 2003 was allocated to support the families of arrested group members.”

Many so-called Islamic State (IS) informal charities emerged in recent years — partly due to increased demand as there were more arrests in 2015–2019 than in 2002–2013. These charities facilitate family visits to prison, inmates’ trip to their hometown upon completion of their sentences and provide inmates with meals. They also sponsor the families’ healthcare and education expenses and capital for setting up businesses.

The decentralised pro-IS network in Indonesia — generally consisting of Jamaah Ansharud Daulah (JAD), Mujahidin Indonesia Timur (MIT), Jamaah Ansharul Khilafah (JAK) and various independent cells — is accompanied by decentralised charities set up by the groups’ members and sympathisers. JAD’s affiliated charities are Baitul Mal Ummah, Anfiqu Center, Gubuk Sedekah Amal Ummah (GSAU), and RIS Al Amin.”

“Providing an exact number of pro-IS charities is difficult given the multiple and independent fundraising efforts by IS partisans. In 2016–2017 alone, there were at least 15 pro-IS charities…”

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