INDONESIA: Noordin's blog reveals Indonesians' anger with the bombings

Internet users post angry comments on blog allegedly carrying messages from the terrorist behind the hotel bombings

The Jakarta Post
Friday, July 31, 2009

By Riyadi Suparno

A fundamentalist blog claiming responsibility over the twin hotel bombings in Jakarta has attracted huge interest among internet users, and reveals the general feeling of anger Indonesians have toward the barbaric terrorist act.

As of Thursday afternoon, more than 1,100 comments had been posted on the Mediaislam-bushro blog, which carries messages allegedly from the country's most wanted terrorist, Noordin M Top. The fugitive Malaysian terrorists claimed responsibility for the bombings at JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta on July 17.

Whether or not the message is actually from Noordin is irrelevant. What matters is the content of the responses, which have drawn widespread attention.

Most -- if not all -- of the posted comments condemn Noordin and the bombings. Many accused him of twisting the Koran and Haditz (Prophet Muhammad expression) for his own interest. They even cited verses from the Koran to contradict Noordin's beliefs. A few cursed him for preventing the Manchester United (MU) football team from visiting Indonesia while many made violent threats against him.

"This blogger wrote this blog using an IBM laptop, an American brand. If arrested, he [Noordin] should be electrocuted with low voltage electricity so that he does not die, but suffers a lot. Then, hang him," said a posting from Qwe.

"This terrorist forced MU out of Indonesia. I had already bought a ticket [to the match]. If I meet this terrorist, I'll kill him and mutilate his body," wrote Najla Atiqadhia.

"Who are you to take someone's life? Only Allah has the right to take someone's life," wrote Eva Maumunah.

"Hope you get 40 virgins in hell," said Armadillo.

There were questions of why Noordin did not carry out the bombing in his own country, Malaysia. Some challenged him to a fight while others made an appeal for calm despite the feelings of anger.

"If you are a real terrorist, I'll wait for you at Kalibata cemetery this afternoon. If you really want jihad, then come fight me," Imanuel wrote in a post.

"Come to me with your bombs, I'll fight you with spoon and fork, I'll eat you," said another posting.

"Come on, don't get so agitated. There are many inaccuracies in blogs like this," Cak Rohman said.

"The biggest jihad is actually fighting against our own passion," said another posting from Tips and Trik.

The blog, which can be found at, carries two messages from a group called Tanzim Al Qoidah Indonesia. The group's spokesman, claiming to be Noordin M. Top, said the bombings aimed to destroy all parties related to the West and Christianity and offers solace to Muslims suffering from their oppression.

The spokesman said his group attacked the JW Marriott because the hotel was used as a regular meeting place for 'KADIN Amerika' (KADIN stands for Indonesian Chamber of Commerce). He said that Western businessmen gathered at the hotel to create more wicked strategies that could only create misery for Muslims.

He said the group targeted Manchester United, which initially planned to stay at the Ritz-Carlton, because the football team was made up of Christian players. Muslims must not idolize or offer loyalty to this group, the post stated.

The messages were written mainly in Indonesian though there were elements of Arabic and Malay expressions. Several Koran passages were also quoted.

There are a number of misspellings also, the most obvious being the spelling of JW. Marriot (with single t), Rizt Calrton and Mancester United.

The messages were posted July 26, one week after the bombing. The blog itself was created in July, possibly just for the purpose of distributing these messages.

Two days after the blog was created, the first comment was posted at 11.42 p.m. from Portdham. Ever since then, the comments have not stopped pouring in. As of Wednesday afternoon, several hundred had been posted, and by Thursday the number had jumped to more than 1,200.

With 25,000 visits in just two days, this blog is undoubtedly the most popular in Indonesia.

People might question why comments from people posting with names unlikely their own -- Ghostbuster, qwe, Terkutuklah -- actually matter at all.

Nevertheless, behind those aliases are real people. The comments were written by real people whose opinions have found their way onto a forum in a purely uncensored manner.

The Internet serves as a mirror to the real world, in a way. Whatever exists in the real world, we can find it on the net. These comments represent the mood of the larger Internet users in Indonesia.

Their mood, their anger and their frustration with terrorism represent the mood, anger and frustration of many of us nationwide.