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Terrorists 'target young' as new recruits

Experts warn students to keep away from militias that 'want to impose Islamic law'

Police tightened security of Jakarta's Assumption Cathedral during Holy Week Police tightened security of Jakarta's Assumption Cathedral during Holy Week
  • Konradus Epa, Jakarta
  • Indonesia
  • April 27, 2011
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The Indonesian Islamic State (NII) movement, believed to be the new face of terror groups, is a danger to the country's young people who it wants to recruit, a Catholic analyst says.

“The presence of NII is alarming as it wants to replace Pancasila with Islamic law as national ideology," Adrianus Meliala, terrorism observer and criminology lecturer at the University of Indonesia, said on April 25.

Pancasila — the five principles — enshrined in the preamble to the 1945 constitution, stipulates belief in one God; a just and civilized society; a united Indonesia; democracy guided by consensus; and social justice for all.

Meliala said the group has its origin in Darul Islam, a militia group seeking the establishment of an Islamic state in 1940s.

The group was allegedly involved in kidnapping some university students and it indoctrinated them with radical ideas.

It is also believed to be behind a series of book bombs and the failed Good Friday bomb attempt on a Protestant Christ Cathedral Church in Tangerang, Banten province.

Police arrested 20 people linked to bomb threats, including a cameraman of a local television station.

The Catholic layman therefore called on students to stay away from this group.

Ihsan Ali-Fauzi, a lecturer at Islamic-run Paramadina University, expressed similar concerns yesterday. “We ask parents to look after their children,” he said.

Meanwhile Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo of Jakarta urged security officials to investigate and unveil the motive of terrorists.

He urged Catholics to promote humanity and culture of life, and avoid any acts that promote culture of death.

Religious affairs minister Suryadarma Ali has also made a similar call to Indonesians, to avoid evil teachings of terror groups.

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