Islamic State Now Targeting East-Asia
by JORDAN SCHACHTEL Officials from both Indonesia, the state with the world's largest Muslim population, and Malaysia have warned that the radical Islamic State (IS) terror group is now targeting their respective countries.
Indonesia and Malaysia, known for their more secular governing policies in relation to other Muslim-majority countries, are being targeted because they have thus far refused to follow the strict and oppressive Islamic Shariah law.
Radical, jailed Indonesian cleric Abu Bakar Bashir and his Al-Qaeda-linked Indonesian terror group Jemaah Islamayiah has declared support for the Islamic State. His jihadist group is known for being behind the 2002 Bali nightclub bombing that killed over 200 people.
Malaysian authorities have arrested at least 19 of their nationals in just seven months, suspecting them of being connected to the Islamic State. A Malaysian counter-terror official said of the arrests, “During questioning, [suspects] admitted one of their main objectives was to attack the government. They also discussed planning attacks against a disco, pubs in Kuala Lumpur and a Carlsberg factory...”
Islam is the dominant religion in both Indonesia and Malaysia. Indonesia is home to over 200 million Muslims, or almost 90 percent of its population. Islam is the most-practiced religion in Malaysia, with 60 percent (20 million) of its population following the religion