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Jakarta Post

The spy who prayed

  • Kornelius Purba

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, August 26 2009   /  09:26 am

JP/P.J. LeoAs’ad Said Ali, deputy chief of the National Intelligence Agency, always looks passionate when he talks about the country’s largest Muslim organization, Nahdlatul Ulama, and its basic values: a moderate, tolerant and inclusive Islam.

Although his position at the National Intelligence Agency (BIN) means As’ad cannot be officially active in NU, he is proud to be associated with the organization. And so important is it to him that, when the topic shifts to security and political issues, the veteran intelligence officer shifts it back to issues related to Islam and NU.Born in Kudus, Central Java, on Dec. 19, 1949, to a family with a strong NU strong tradition, As’ad owes much to NU. His father Said Ali and mother Asyrofah were both actively involved in pesantren (Islamic boarding schools) and NU. As a student in his hometown of Kudus, he was active in NU’s youth w...