File photo: Counter-terrorism squad Detachment 88 searches a home in the West Java town of Bekasi. (Antara photo)

MUI Member Charged with Terrorism

BY :BAYU MARHAENJATI

NOVEMBER 16, 2021

Jakarta. A member of the Indonesian Ulema Council, or MUI, was arrested under terrorism charges along with two other suspects during separate operations by the police’s counter-terrorism squad Detachment 88 in the West Java town of Bekasi on Tuesday.

Ahmad Zain an-Najah was identified by local mainstream news websites as a member of the MUI’s Fatwa Division.

The name is listed among 56 members of the Fatwa Division on the MUI official website, The Jakarta Globe has verified.

The police neither confirmed nor denied the reports.

The other two suspects are identified as Farid Ahmad Okbah and Anung al-Hamad.

The three are suspected of operating under the shadowy regional terror network Jemaah Islamiyah, National Police spokesman Chief Comr. Ahmad Ramadhan told reporters in Jakarta.

The group is responsible for a string of deadly attacks in the past, including the October 2002 Bali bombings that killed more than 200 people of mostly foreigners. Jemaah Islamiyah has been designated as a terrorist organization by the UN Security Council since the aftermath of the Bali bombings.

Ahmad Zain is involved in Jemaah Islamiyah’s shura (advisory) council and plays a leadership role in a fundraising foundation named Lembaga Amil Zakat Baitul Maal Abdurrahman Bin Auf, the spokesman said.

The foundation has distributed hundreds of donation boxes across the province of Lampung in Sumatra to raise money.

“It is an affiliate of Jemaah Islamiyah tasked with raising funds to finance terrorism activities,” Ramadhan said in the news conference without going into details.

Farid, the second suspect, also has a managerial role in the foundation and at one point he channeled money to the Jemaah Islamiyah advocacy team, of which Anung, the third suspect, is a member.

The three were arrested in simultaneous operations at three different housing complexes in the Pondokmelati subdistrict just after dawn on Tuesday.

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