Stefani Wijaya, Jakarta – The police and the anti-money laundering agency have frozen at least 21 bank accounts belonging to suspected leaders of Muslim group Khilafatul Muslimin, which authorities said seeks to establish an Islamic state in Indonesia.
The move came after more than 20 Khilafatul Muslimin members were named suspects in a crackdown on radicalism in several provinces.
"As we know that the flow of money is the vein of any crime. If we cut the vein, they won't be able to move freely," Maryanto, the analysis director with the Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (PPATK), said at a news conference at the Jakarta Police headquarters on Thursday.
He said the total amount of the frozen bank deposits was not significant, but he didn't go into details.
Maryanto said the move was taken at the request of the Jakarta Police as part of the ongoing investigation against the group members.
Jakarta Police Chief Detective Chief Comr. Hengki Haryadi said the group collects donations from tens of thousands of members.
"Even the poorest members must donate at least Rp 1,000 per day. Based on our data, the group has tens of thousands of members," Hengki said.
Many of the group's leaders are former terrorism convicts, including the highest in command identified as Abdul Qodir Baraja, the officer said.
Abdul has spent more than 15 years in prison for terror convictions, including the bombing at the Borobudur Temple decades ago, he said.
Khilafatul Muslimin runs its own education system from elementary schools to universities where the 1945 Constitution and the national ideology of Pancasila are never introduced in classrooms, Hengki said.
Police have found at least 25 schools affiliated with the group.
The group introduced a very different education system because it takes only nine years for a student to complete education from elementary school until university graduation, he said.
"That gives us a new criminal charge namely a violation of the Law on the National Education System," Hengki said.
Police are taking actions to close down Khilafatul Muslimin schools and return students to their parents, he said.
The group takes inspiration from the Darul Islam movement led by Kartosuwiryo who also sought to establish an Islamic caliphate in the 1950s.
Each member is given guide books containing the teachings of Kartosuwiryo, Hengki said.
Khilafatul Muslimin members come from various background, from farmers and businessmen to doctors and civil servants, he added.
The group came under public scrutiny after its members in motorcycle convoys staged rallies in several cities carrying banners supportive of the establishment of an Islamic state on May 29.
Videos circulating on social media accounts show his followers carry a banner that reads "Embrace the rise of the Islamic caliphate" during the rally.