Terrorism is attracting an increasing number of creative and intellectual university graduates who differ from its stereotypical adherents of Islamic boarding school (pesantren) students and preachers.
For the last several years, college graduates from middle class families have played a prominent role in plotting terror attacks.
The recent distribution of book bombs in Jakarta, and the attempted bombing of a church in Serpong, Banten, were the alleged handiwork of five graduates from the Syarif Hidayatullah National Islamic University (UINSH), the Institute of Social and Political Science Jakarta (IISIP) and the Depok Economics School (STIE).
The five graduates and 14 other suspects were allegedly members of a group led by Pepi Fernando, a documentary filmmaker from a middle-class family.
The police alleged that Pepi, an UINSH graduate, sent book bombs to several prominent figures, including liberal Muslim activist Ulil Abshar Abdalla and National Narcotics Agency (BNN) chief Comr. Gen. Gories Mere, previously the nation’s counterterrorism czar. Read more