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Published On: Sat, Jun 22nd, 2013

Sefa Riano, Indonesian terrorist arrested after recruiting through Facebook

The AP described the scene: Sefa Riano didn’t try to hide his plans or his beliefs. A Facebook page that police traced to him is plastered with photos of bearded men in camouflage uniforms holding rifles and banners hailing “the spirit of jihad.”

One status update in late April apologizes to his parents before telling them goodbye. Another declares ominously, “God willing, I will take action at the Myanmar Embassy, hope you will share responsibility for my struggle.”

It ends with a yellow smiley face.

Sefa Riano's Facebook page photo

Sefa Riano’s Facebook page photo

Under the Facebook name Mambo Wahab, Riano and another man were on a motorbike carrying a backpack filled with five low-explosive pipe bombs tied together in central Jakarta.

Riano, age 29,  is awaiting charges related to allegations that he plotted to bomb the embassy to protest the persecution of Muslims in Buddhist-majority Myanmar.

The investigator said Riano caused his own downfall by publicizing his mission on Facebook, but added that police believe it was another Facebook page that drew him to radical Islam to begin with.

Police said a growing number of young people in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation, are being targeted for recruitment by terrorists on the social media site.

Fred Wolens, a Facebook spokesman, said the company bars “promotion of terrorism” and “direct statements of hate.” Where abusive content is posted and reported, Facebook removes it and disables the account, he said.

Gatot S. Dewabroto, spokesman for Indonesia’s Ministry of Communication and Information, said Facebook responds quickly when officials ask them to remove such content. But he added that after one page is blocked, others quickly spring up.

William McCants, a former U.S. State Department analyst who studies online Islamic extremism for the U.S.-based Center for Naval Analyses, said governments in many countries “are just waking up to the fact that the conversation (about extremism) is moving to newer social media platforms.”

“On Facebook and Twitter, you can really go after people who broadly share your ideology but haven’t really committed themselves to violence,” he said.

Indonesian police say Facebook is one of many places where they’ve found terrorist activity online. They have detected militants using online games for attack drills. A group was caught uploading propaganda videos on YouTube and terrorists are known to have purchased weapons using video calls, said Brig. Gen. Petrus Reinhard Golose, the director of operations at Indonesia’s anti-terrorism agency.

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- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON says:

    AS A NEGRO MALE WHO IS SEXUALLY ATTRACTED TO HAIRY CAUCASIAN-MALES, I FEEL COMPELLED TO MAKE THIS COMMENT.

    I JUST INTENSIVELY VIEWED THE CAUCASIAN MALES DEPICTED IN THIS ARTICLE’S ACCOMPANYING PHOTOGRAPH. LET US FOCUS ON THE CAUCASIAN MALE IN THE FRONT ROW [penultimate right; with, shaved head]. IF YOU LOOK AT THIS MALE’S JAWBONE-LINE AND HOW IT CONNECTS TO THE EARS, IT SEEMS THE ISLAMIC-STYLE BEARD HE IS WEARING IS FAKE.

    MY POINT IS, IT BOTHERS ME WHEN CAUCASIANS MALES TRY TO MIMICK THE PHYSICAL FEATURES OF COLORED MALES BECAUSE THOSE FEATURES ARE CONSIDERED “MANLY;” CAUCASIAN MALES ARE SEXY IN THEIR OWN RIGHT AND HAVE NO NEED TO IMITATE OTHERS.

    CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

  2. CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON says:

    FIRST, I WILL TYPE, I WILL NOT BE HYPOCRITICAL ON THIS ISSUE. A REASON WHY I PARTICIPATE IN ONLINE DISCUSSION IS BECAUSE I AM LOOKING FOR OTHERS WHO SHARE MY VIEWS ON “Uncle-Tom Style” Race, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND THE laws WE ARE “FORCED” TO obey.

    BUT, THOSE PEOPLE WHO HAVE A PROBLEM WITH PEOPLE LIKE, Sefa Riano, SHOULD TAKE THE FOOL WHO CREATED SOCIAL-NETWORK WEBSITES AND BEHEAD HIM IN TOWN-SQUARE.

    SURELY, PEOPLE DO NOT BELIEVE A PERSON WOULD CLEARLY TYPE, “I want to kill ‘so-and-so.'” BUT, IF YOU ATTENTIVELY READ THAT PERSON’S ONLINE COMMENTARY, THE READER WILL BE ABLE TO FIGURE-OUT, “Yes! – This person truly does want to kill ‘so-and-so!'”

    AS FAR AS THE PUBLIC IS CONCERNED, Facebook KNEW PEOPLE WOULD TREAT IT AS A MECHANISM FOR FINDING ROMANCE, FINDING HIGH-SCHOOL CLASSMATES, ETC. YET, Facebook KNEW IT WOULD SERVE AS A SLICK WAY TO “KEEP TABS” ON THE PUBLIC. WHEN SIGNING-UP FOR A Facebook account, THE ENTITY WANTS YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS AND PHONE NUMBER. [Every American who is concerned about the activities of National Security Agency, should be concerned about why Facebook wants your phone number. If you get in contact with an ole high-school buddy via Facebook, e-mail addresses are sufficient (phone numbers can be exchanged during e-mail correspondence)].

    MY POINT IS, WHAT DO PEOPLE EXPECT A PROSPECTIVE “terrorist” TO DO WHEN Facebook IS SO HANDY.

    CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

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