The Aceh-based militant network : a trigger for a view into the insightful complex of conceptual and historical links
Date of Issue2010
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
During February- April 2010 a militant network, known as Tandzim Al Qaeda Serambi Mekah, was discovered by the Indonesian police. Assessments and analyses that followed it pointed to a change or a shift in the strategic and operational thought made by this Aceh-based militant network, including a change in prioritizing of targets, namely prioritizing of “enemies” as targets for attack. This article asks to offer varied insights into the strategic and operational thought of this network by viewing it through both universal and local lenses. It is done by using a broader historical perspective that addresses global militant discourse, originated in the Middle East in particular, and the case of Darul Islam (DI) rebellions in Indonesia of the late 1940s to the early 1960s, that is considered to be significant for understanding of current jihadism in Indonesia. In this way the discussed case of the Aceh-based militant network is seen to suggest also a reminder that the multi-faceted contours of Islamic radicalism and militancy in Indonesia tend to be revealed more clearly through a view that catches both the Indonesian local context and the global context, the Middle Eastern in particular; a view that requires a careful navigation between the universalities of the global aspects and the particularities of the local Indonesian context.
RSIS Working Paper ; 214/10