Last Updated: Friday, 27 May 2016, 08:49 GMT

2009 Country Reports on Terrorism - Indonesia

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 5 August 2010
Cite as United States Department of State, 2009 Country Reports on Terrorism - Indonesia, 5 August 2010, available at: [accessed 27 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

The Government of Indonesia reacted decisively to the July 17, 2009 bombings of the Jakarta Ritz Carlton and J.W. Marriott hotels, which killed nine people, including the two bombers, and injured more than 50 in the first attacks in Indonesia in almost four years.

The Indonesian government's counterterrorism efforts led to the arrests of 14 operatives and the deaths of nine, including Noordin Muhammad Top, the Malaysian leader of a splinter Jemaah Islamiya (JI) group based in Indonesia. Top was number one on Indonesia's most wanted list for several years and is believed to have overseen the 2003 Jakarta J. W. Marriott bombing, the 2004 bombing of the Australian Embassy, and the 2005 Bali bombings.

The Marriott suicide bomber entered a private dining room where a breakfast meeting of prominent business community representatives, primarily expatriates, was being held. The bomber set off an improvised explosive device (IED) that killed six people. Approximately five minutes later, a second bomber set off an IED in the Ritz Carlton restaurant, killing himself and two others. An undetonated bomb was later discovered in a J.W. Marriott guest room where one of the bombers stayed during the two days before the attacks.

The level of planning for the attacks, including the planting of a JI operative in the hotels and floral shops for at least two years prior to the bombings, indicated that Top's network had grown in sophistication. As the investigation developed, it became apparent the network was larger in number and geographical reach than previously thought. The ages of the Marriott bomber and other operatives indicate Top and his associates successfully recruited youths with no previous criminal records. Family links between operatives, including by marriage, were evident throughout the network.

Regarding terrorism legislation, the Parliamentary Commission on Security and Defense proposed revisions to the 2003 Terrorism Law. By the end of 2009, Parliament had not yet begun to review the revisions. It was not clear when they would begin to do so.

One proposed revision to the law would allow a suspect to be detained for two years without trial should his/her activities be deemed an endangerment to Indonesia's security. Under the current law, the Indonesian police must formally name a subject as a terrorism defendant within seven days after arrest and can then detain them for up to four months without charges.

Another proposed revision to the law would allow the police to crack down on individuals and groups that glorify terrorism and openly preach hatred against those of a different faith. This particular law would target radical clerics who support radical jihad, or war, in their religious lectures.

An additional proposed revision to the law would create a Counterterrorism Coordination Agency composed of governmental and social components, including representatives of most of the Ministries, the Attorney General's Office, the National Police, the State Intelligence Agency, and the Armed Forces.

The Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Social Affairs would head the body and answer directly to the President. The agency would coordinate counterterrorism policy and activities, and serve as a central crisis center in the event of a terrorist attack. It has not yet been determined whether the agency would have operational capacities. Elements of the agency would also coordinate with the Religious, Education, and Information Affairs Ministries to implement counter- and de-radicalization programs.

A final proposed revision to the law would allow the Indonesian military (TNI) and the State Intelligence Agency (BIN) to work more closely with the police, directed by the Counterterrorism Coordination Agency, to counter terrorist acts.

Regarding developments in terrorist financing legislation, the Indonesian government made substantial efforts to draft effective terrorist financing legislation that meets FATF standards and creates an effective mechanism to freeze terrorist assets pursuant to UNSCRs 1267 and 1373.

An Indonesian interagency team headed by PPATK, the Indonesian Financial Intelligence Unit, drafted new terrorist financing legislation. This draft law addresses criticisms raised in the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering 2008 evaluation of Indonesia, which noted significant deficiencies in Indonesia's statutory and regulatory framework to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.

The draft legislation is a significant improvement over previous terrorist financing legislation, as it creates a mechanism to trace, freeze, seize, and confiscate terrorist assets pursuant to UNSCRs 1267 and 1373, and clarified and broadened the definition of support to a terrorist organization. The draft legislation does not specifically address the use of non-profit organizations (NPOs) and non-governmental organizations to finance terrorism, a sensitive topic. Although PPATK interlocutors assert the draft legislation will apply to non-profits, it is unclear whether there would be political will to apply the legislation to non-profits. The Government of Indonesia initiated a review of its domestic NPO sector in July 2009, as requested by the APG. The review is a key part of the government's effort to improve regulation and oversight of the NPO sector. To date, there has been only one successful terrorist financing prosecution in Indonesia, a function of poorly drafted legislation and a lack of training for police and prosecutors.

The Victim and Witness Protection Agency LPSK is in the process of developing procedures to assist victims of crime, including terrorist activities, and to shelter witnesses from criminals including terrorist organizations.

The Indonesian government continued programs to counter violent extremism, but concrete, systemic information as to the effectiveness of the programs was not available. The National Police and the Ministry for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs offered counter-violence programs to youth across the country, including sports events, television programs, and traditional puppet shows (a popular cultural practice in Indonesia).

The Indonesian National Police continued its prisoner assistance program to de-radicalize convicted terrorists, primarily with the assistance of two former terrorists, Ali Imron and Nasir Abas, who were convicted for their participation in the 2002 Bali bombings. The program identified individuals who might be open to more moderate teachings and focused on providing spiritual support to the men and modest financial support to their families.

The United States and Indonesia continued to enjoy excellent cooperation on issues related to international terrorism. The Indonesian government has worked closely with the United States on terrorism cases and indicated its interest in ongoing assistance and cooperation. The Attorney General's Office of Terrorism and Transnational Crime Task Force, which the United States helps support, has successfully convicted more than 60 Indonesian terrorists to date, including more than 40 JI members. Although there is no mutual legal assistance treaty in place, there is considerable sharing of information between Indonesia and the United States, and mechanisms exist for the formal transfer of evidence, with the first two mutual legal assistance requests being executed between Indonesia and the United States in 2009.

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