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Islamic State-Linked Coup Against Indonesian President Is Backed by Trump Allies, Report Says

Posted on Apr 20, 2017

  Indonesian President Joko Widodo, commonly referred to as “Jokowi.” (Flickr / CC 2.0)

Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo (known as “Jokowi”) is facing an attempted coup by both active and retired generals. According to intelligence gathered by The Intercept’s Allan Nairn, along with documents from whistleblower Edward Snowden, President Trump’s political and business allies are behind the movement to remove Jokowi—a movement that is also linked to Islamic State.

Nairn reports:

Prominent supporters of the coup movement include Fadli Zon, vice speaker of the Indonesian House of Representatives and Donald Trump’s main political booster in the country; and Hary Tanoe, Trump’s primary Indonesian business partner, who is building two Trump resorts, one in Bali and one outside Jakarta.

This account of the movement to overthrow President Jokowi is based on dozens of interviews and is supplemented by internal army, police, and intelligence documents I obtained or viewed in Indonesia, as well as by NSA intercepts obtained by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Many sources on both sides of the coup spoke on condition of anonymity. Two of them expressed apparently well-founded concerns about their safety.

He then lays out how “officially sponsored street thugs” known as the Islamic Defenders Front, or FPI (Front Pembela Islam), are “[s]erving as the main face and public voice of the generals’ political thrust.” The FPI, he continues, has links to both Islamic State and Trump.

Nairn writes:

[A]t the protests atop a mobile command platform have been the FPI’s spokesman and militia chief, Munarman, as well as Fadli Zon, who is known for publicly praising Donald Trump and appeared with the candidate at a press conference at Trump Tower during the opening days of the presidential campaign. Fadli Zon serves as the right-hand man of the country’s most notorious mass-murdering general, Prabowo Subianto, who was defeated by Jokowi in the 2014 election.

Munarman, who has been videotaped at a ceremony in which a roomful of young men swear allegiance to ISIS and its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is also a corporate lawyer working for the Indonesian branch of the mining colossus Freeport McMoRan, now controlled by Carl Icahn, President Trump’s friend and deregulation adviser. Although the Trump connections appear to be very important for the coup plotters, it is unknown whether Trump or Icahn have any direct knowledge of the Indonesian coup movement.

Nairn goes on to say that he’s “received detailed information from five Indonesian internal intelligence reports,” and each report “was confirmed by at least two current army, intelligence, or palace officials.”

The connections don’t stop there. Nairn writes that one report

asserted that some funds [for the FPI-led protest movement] came from Donald Trump’s billionaire business partner Hary Tanoe, who was repeatedly described to me by key movement figures as being among their most important supporters. Last Friday night, when I sat down with a roomful of such figures — none of whom requested anonymity — they expressed excitement about their closeness to Hary and his personal and financial relationship with President Trump, who along with his son Eric welcomed Hary to Trump Tower and the inauguration. They said they hoped Hary, who is building two Trump resorts in Indonesia, would serve as a bridge between Trump and Gen. Prabowo.

Read the full piece here.

—Posted by Emma Niles

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