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Bali bombings: 10 years later, progress and some bumps ahead

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For all its efforts Indonesia has received widespread praise. But analysts say that smaller cells have cropped up in recent years still pose threats, and a lack of understanding about those groups has prevented better counter-terrorism efforts.

“The level of threat has diminished, but it remains persistent,” says Greg Barton, a political scientist who has studied global terrorism at Australia’s Monash University.

Hardline group recruitment

Analysts say disaffected youth are increasingly branching off and starting their own small cells that operate independent of Jemaah Islamiyah or Jemaah Anshorut Tauhid, a hardline group set up in 2008 by JI spiritual leader Abu Bakar Bashir, who is currently serving a 15-year prison sentence for helping support a paramilitant training camp discovered in  2010 in Aceh, in northern Sumatra.

“They find old groups like the JI and JAT not radical enough,” says Jim Della-Giacoma, the Southeast Asia director of the International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based organization that monitors radical activity in Indonesia.

Bashir created JAT, which is classified by the United States as a terrorist organization, after breaking away from JI, which more militant groups felt had abandoned jihad. Now, even that group carries out mostly above-ground activities, exerting its influence through schools and prayer groups.

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