Indonesia’s Islamic Defenders Front to hold mass prayer service to “express gratitude to the late martyr Sheikh Osama bin Laden”
The turnout for this event and its reception in Jakarta will bear watching as one potential indicator of the strength and support (or tacit acceptance) of this subset of the Tiny Minority of Extremists. “Radical Indonesian Muslim Group to Hold Mass Prayer for bin Laden,” by Tara Kelly for Time, May 4:
The Islamic Defenders Front, a radical Indonesian Muslim group in Jakarta, announced plans to hold “a mass prayer for Bin Laden,” CNN reports.
In a text message to the media, the Islamic Defenders Front announced its prayer service just two days after the world’s most wanted man was killed and buried by U.S. special forces. Mourners were invited to “express gratitude to the late martyr Sheikh Osama bin Laden.” The service will take place in Jakarta, the capital of one of the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nations on Wednesday.
Al-Qaeda has ties to Indonesian terrorists and radical groups dating back about three decades. The Islamic Defenders Front is known for attacking Jakarta nightclubs and threatening Westerners, according to Jane’s Terrorism & Security Monitor. Indonesia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Marty Natalegawa said on Tuesday that security measures had been escalated for the meeting of ten Southeast Asian leaders in Jakarta this Saturday.
Among some conservative and radical Muslim groups, news of bin Laden’s death has caused anger, reports the Jakarta Globe. The Indonesia Council of Ulema (MUI), the country’s highest Islamic body, slammed the US decision to bury bin Laden at sea: “A Muslim, whatever his profession, even a criminal, their rites must be respected. There must be a prayer and the body should be wrapped in white cloth before being buried in the earth, not at sea,” MUI chief Amidhan said. The United States says bin Laden received Muslim rites but his body was “eased” into the Arabian Sea so no one could turn his grave into a shrine.
Top U.S. intelligence officials told members of Congress at a classified briefing in the Capitol Tuesday that at the time of bin Laden’s death, it was discovered he had 500 euros in cash ($740 in U.S. dollars) and telephone numbers sewn into his clothes, reports Politico. The cash and phone numbers suggest to U.S. authorities he was prepared to flee his compound at a moment’s notice and could justify why U.S. did not tip off Pakistan about the planned raid.
Among a few other reasons.