Last Updated: Thursday, 19 October 2017, 11:48 GMT

Country Reports on Terrorism 2010 - Indonesia

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 18 August 2011
Cite as United States Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2010 - Indonesia, 18 August 2011, available at: [accessed 19 October 2017]
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.

Overview: In 2010, the Indonesian government continued to build counterterrorism capacities, successfully prosecuted a number of terrorists, and strengthened legislative efforts to counter terrorist financing. A new National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) was formally established on July 16 and President Yudhoyono swore in retired Police Inspector General Ansyaad Mbai as its head on September 7.

In February 2010, Indonesian police discovered a large paramilitary terrorist training camp in Aceh. Officials identified at least eight terrorist factions involved in the terrorist training camp. The factions included militants who trained in Mindanao in the southern Philippines, graduates of terrorist training camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan, students, government workers, and released terrorist convicts who had undergone de-radicalization programs while in the Indonesian corrections system. Police believed the Aceh-based terrorist group intended to target Indonesian government officials, including President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

The success of police actions following the breakup of the Aceh training camp, however, continued to demonstrate increased police capacities, including successful operations carried out with a minimum loss of life to both terrorists and civilians, though some terrorists were killed during police raids. Police captured over 120 terrorists associated with the Aceh training camp, including Abdullah Sunata, a leader of the radical group Kompak, known for its involvement in ethnic conflicts in Poso and Ambon, and Abu Tholut, a bomb maker believed to have funded the Aceh terrorist training camp. In addition, the death of a third well-known terrorist, Dulmatin, an electronics expert and bomb maker who received al-Qa'ida training in Afghanistan and was wanted in connection to the 2002 Bali bombing, brought to an end an intensive international manhunt across Southeast Asia.

The number of corrections recidivists involved in the Aceh training camp concerned the Indonesians. At least 18 recidivists were either killed or captured in police actions connected to the camp. The Government of Indonesia recognized that the high rate of recidivism was one of a number of concerns related to the Indonesian prison system that needed to be addressed. Prison sector issues also included rehabilitative capacity, security procedures, organizational structure, and training. Evidence that terrorists within and outside of the corrections system (including Dulmatin) were in contact with each other and were able to further develop terrorist networks while incarcerated further highlighted the need for broad prison reform.

2010 Terrorist Incidents: On the heels of successful police actions, militants conducted retribution strikes against police stations. On March 12, terrorists associated with the Aceh training camp attacked a police outstation in Aceh. On September 22, after a series of police actions in North Sumatera, 12 heavily-armed men on six motorcycles killed three police officers in a heavy-arms attack on a sub-district police station.

Indonesian law enforcement authorities believe terrorists conducted a series of bank robberies to finance terrorist activities. The most brazen bank robbery took place midday August 18 when 16 heavily armed robbers robbed a bank in the Medan central commercial district. The robbers killed a police officer and wounded two bank security guards.

Legislation and Law Enforcement: While Indonesia's Terrorism and Transnational Crime Task Force has a successful track record in prosecuting terrorism cases, the 2010 arrests linked to terrorist camps in Aceh revealed a limitation in Indonesia's ability to counter terrorism; nothing in Indonesian law directly criminalizes participation in terrorist training camps. The Ministry of Law and Human Rights formed an inter-agency working group to draft amendments to Indonesia's 2003 Terrorism law to address deficiencies in the current law. In addition, draft legislation to address the use of intelligence information in terrorism cases was also in progress.

One major development in terms of pending legislation was the formal establishment of the BNPT. On July 16, Presidential Decree Number 46/2010 formally established the BNPT as a free-standing agency. The new agency replaced the Anti-Terrorism Coordinating Desk, which was housed in the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs. On September 7, President Yudhoyono swore in retired Police Inspector General Ansyaad Mbai as the head of the BNPT. Mbai reported directly to the President and attended relevant cabinet sessions. However, the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs retained oversight over the BNPT, similar to its oversight over other ministries or agencies, including the Foreign Ministry, National Intelligence Agency (BIN), and the Indonesian National Police. The BNPT's organizational structure contained a secretariat responsible for administration and program coordination, three deputies responsible for prevention, protection, and de-radicalization efforts; operations and capabilities; and international cooperation.

In addition, the Indonesian National Police's (INP) counterterrorism unit, Special Detachment 88, was separated from the INP's Criminal Investigation Unit and placed under the BNPT deputy responsible for operations and capabilities, but remained under the direct command of the national police chief. In a move to consolidate their efforts, provincial Detachment 88 units were abolished and replaced with 10 regional units.

Prosecutions: In 2010, the Attorney General's Office Task Force on Terrorism and Transnational Crime (SATGAS) secured convictions of 11 terrorists connected with the 2009 bombings of the J.W. Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta. A twelfth defendant, Saudi national Al Khalil Ali, was charged with financing the July 17, 2009 twin Jakarta hotel bombings under Indonesia's fledgling terrorist finance law. Ali was acquitted of the terrorism charge on June 28, 2010, but found guilty of immigration violations and sentenced to 18 months imprisonment.

SATGAS prosecutors have developed extensive experience prosecuting terrorism cases, which are brought under a specialized terrorism law with different procedures than ordinary criminal cases. SATGAS prosecutors have developed long-term, close professional relationships with the specialized police unit, Detachment 88, which investigates Indonesia's terrorism cases. This has led to a new criminal model in Indonesia – police and prosecutors working together on cases from the onset instead of prosecutorial engagement beginning after a police investigation has concluded. At the end of 2010, SATGAS was currently prosecuting more than 70 defendants associated with the Aceh training camp.

Border Security: Since 2006, a photo and 10 fingerprints have been taken for all passport applicants. This information was sent back to a central site for biometric checking which ostensibly must be completed before a passport can be issued. However, duplicative passports with false identities were easily obtainable. This systemic weakness was highlighted when police discovered that Muhammad Jibriel Abdur Rahman, aka Muhammad Ricky Ardhan, who was sentenced in 2010 to five years in jail for his role in the July 17, 2009 Jakarta bombings, was found to possess one. In addition, when terrorist Dulmatin was killed in March 2010 press reports state he had an Indonesian passport issued by the East Jakarta Immigration Office in the name of Yahya Ibrahim. The Government of Indonesia has noted the weaknesses in official documentation controls and has been working to address the issue.

Countering Terrorist Finance: Indonesia demonstrated concrete progress in improving its Anti-Money Laundering/Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CTF) regime. In February, the government committed to work with the Financial Action Task Force and the Asia/Pacific Group (APG) to address remaining AML/CTF deficiencies.

On October 22, President Yudhoyono signed Law No. 8 of 2010 on the Prevention and Eradication of the Crime of Money Laundering, which will help Indonesia counter terrorist finance and transnational crime. The legislation permits rapid freezing and seizure of assets and bank accounts, which will make it easier for Indonesia to comply with UNSCRs 1267 and 1373 and bolster the ability of police and prosecutors to pursue individuals who provide critical financial support to terrorists. This law expanded the number of agencies permitted to conduct money laundering investigations; increased the ability of the independent Financial Intelligence Unit (PPATK) to examine suspicious financial transactions; expanded institutions authorized to obtain results of PPATK analysis or examination of transactions; created a streamlined mechanism to seize and freeze criminal assets; expanded the entities which must file reports with PPATK; and increased some criminal penalties for money laundering offenses. The law designated non-financial businesses, in addition to Indonesian banks and providers of financial services, which were required to report suspicious transactions to PPATK. Throughout the remainder of 2010, the PPATK led a government team preparing regulations and guidelines to implement the new law. The government was in the process of developing a comprehensive bill on countering terrorist financing at year's end.

In addition, the Central Bank issued new regulations, effective December 1, which apply to all rural banks and require more extensive provisions for due diligence for high-risk customers and politically exposed persons, and checks against the Central Bank's Terrorist List, based on data published by the UN.

Regional and International Cooperation: Indonesia signed the Beijing Convention on the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Relating to International Civil Aviation and the Beijing Protocol to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft at the conclusion of an International Civil Aviation Organization diplomatic conference in September.

Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: While Indonesia's new BNPT has stated its intent to incorporate counter-radicalization into its overall counterterrorism strategy, civil society organizations continued to take the lead in developing and implementing counter-radicalization programs at the local level. For example, the Association for Victims of Terrorism Bombings in Indonesia, which includes family members of victims of terrorism in Indonesia, worked to counter violent extremism through public outreach events held at schools and for communities in Indonesia.

The corrections system lacked formal rehabilitation and reintegration programs for all prisoners, including terrorists. As with counter-radicalization, the BNPT stated it intended to play a more significant role in de-radicalization efforts moving forward.

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