chapter  20
13 Pages

Terrorism and Counterterrorism in Indonesia

WithSusan Sim

When the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) released a video in November 2014 to announce the executions of American hostage Peter Kassig and 18 captured Syrian officers, one face among the row of knife-wielding ISIS fighters caused much excitement among Southeast Asian sympathisers. Within hours, Indonesian jihadists were posting screen shots of an Asian face on their Facebook pages, jubilant that “a brother from the Nusantara is among the lions of the Caliphate”. 1 The ISIS fighter was quickly identified as Khairul Anuar, an Indonesian “mujahid”. But it was not a face or name familiar to Indonesia’s elite counterterrorism police, Densus 88 (Detachment 88). Was the fighter in fact Filipino? 2 Or was he Malaysian, as suggested by the Facebook postings of one Khairul Anuar whose profile photo matched the ISIS executioner? 3