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Jakarta Post

Moderate Islam losing ground to extremists in Poso

  • Bagus BT Saragih and Ruslan Sangadji

    The Jakarta Post

  /   Tue, November 13 2012   /  08:50 am

After a peace pact in 2001 that ended three years of bloody sectarian conflict in Poso, Central Sulawesi, extremists linked to and directed by al-Qaeda affiliated Jamaah Islamiyah (JI) have largely been left undisturbed with their radical ideology in the Christian-majority regency.

The extremists’ network in Poso was actually weakened and fractured after the peace accord was signed.

However, the government’s failure to thoroughly root out radicalism, coupled with alleged police brutality in counterterrorism raids, have reunited the Islamic fighters and boosted the spirit needed to radicalize traumatized residents.

The movement has eventually resulted in the unexpected expansion of Islamic militant strongholds, such as the Tanah Runtuh and Kayamanya neighborhoods.

Tanah Runtuh was the JI base in Poso during the conflict while Kayamanya remains the base o...