Islamic State contagion growing in Indonesia

Jakarta: In the upmarketJakarta suburb of Menteng, home to former presidents and diplomats and their enormous mansions, al-Fataa mosque is an incongruous building.

A former Dutch colonial hall converted into a place of worship in the 1950s, the mosque, painted in a faded lime green, is tucked down a ramshackle alley dotted with makeshift restaurants and kiosks.

Next door is a Defence Ministry building. On the other side, a swanky new apartment complex. Barely 200 metres away is the fortified compound for US embassy workers. Less than one kilometre away, the US embassy itself.

Australian ambassador Paul Grigson’s residence is in the same suburb.

But Fairfax Media can now reveal a shocking secret – the mosque that lies in the geographic heart of Indonesia’s power elites is an active recruitment centre for Islamic State (IS), the terrorist group that has seized territory in Syria and Iraq and the imagination of radical Islamists across the world.