What was once part of an elaborate hierarchy in great houses is now something commonplace, with over 320,000 foreign maids employed in Malaysia, most of which are live-in maids. Now, though having a live-in maid has it perks, like having an extra set of hands to help with the chores- the perks do not come without any cons; many of which are dismissible.
Now however, in the wake of global terrorism, having a live-in maid may potentially have a far more sinister downside for families and netizens after it was discovered that the Islamic State (ISIS) is attempting to radicalise maids throughout Asia, following a failed terror-plot.
An Islamist cell on the Indonesia island of Java successfully radicalised a domestic maid who had worked in Singapore and Taiwan, and convinced here to attempt a suicide bomb attack on the offices of Indonesia’s President, according to an interview with the 27-year-old maid on Indonesian television Tuesday, cited by Straits Times.
The maid, identified as Dian Yulia Novi was arrested along with six of her accomplices during the weekend, after they were accused of plotting to detonate a pre-meditated large-scale bomb at the presidential palace here in Jakarta. She is the first would-be female suicide bomber arrested in Indonesia.
Her interview with Indonesia’s TVOne news channel took place while she was still in police custody. During the interview, Dian, an Indonesian national, said she had been working as a domestic maid for a family in Singapore for 18 months and looked after three young children.
She reportedly admired and was “inspired” by jihadist profiles on Facebook before being introduced to the members of a terrorist cell based in the central Javanese city of Solo.
According to Straits Times, the cell was established by Indonesian ISIS member Bahrun Naim, who is currently fighting alongside the terrorist organisation’s main cell in the Middle East.
Writing in Indonesia’s Tempo news magazine in July of this year, analyst Sidney Jones, director of the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict, said it was only “a matter of time before we see a female suicide bomber in Java.”
Dian said she was prepared to kill and main “for the sake of Allah.” Her account will fuel already considerable fears of ISIS’ encroachment in the region.
ISIS had reportedly attempted to radicalise domestic maids in Hong Kong on previous occasions. Last year, an Indonesian live-in maid in the semi-autonomous Chinese city sent funds to Bahrun’s cell to buy bomb-making materials, according to a terrorism expert advising the Indonesian government. A plot to attack churches and other targets across Indonesia was broken up before the explosives could be used.
ISIS has meanwhile been operating a brigade in Syria called Katibah Nusantara, made up of Malay-speaking militants from Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, and has been publishing a Malay-language newspaper to increase its regional appeal.
Several militant groups in Southeast Asia have also pledged allegiance to ISIS, among them the East Indonesia Mujahideen in Central Sulawesi province, and Abu Sayyaf in the southern Philippines. Terrorist attacks in Indonesia and Malaysia in July were blamed on militants with links to ISIS.
It goes without saying that the Islamic State’s corrupt roots run deep through the canals of our society. It is our duty to stomp out their cancerous propaganda before it gets too late.
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Cited from Time