U.S. Department of State Country Reports on Terrorism 2004 - Indonesia

In 2004, Indonesia continued building on its successes combating terrorism, but the bombing of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta in September that killed 10 demonstrates the continued threat posed by terrorists operating in Indonesia. The Indonesian National Police continued to take effective steps to counter the threat posed by the regional terrorist network Jemaah Islamiya (JI). Indonesian police arrested approximately two dozen terrorist suspects in 2004. Those arrested or convicted in 2004 include suspected senior JI leaders, former instructors at JI training camps, financiers of attacks, and members of splinter networks who joined with JI to carry out attacks. Since the October 2002 Bali bombings, Indonesian prosecutors and courts have convicted more than 100 members of JI or affiliated groups on terrorism charges.

Indonesian prosecutors and courts became a focal point of counterterrorism efforts in 2004, as more than 45 JI members stood trial on terrorism charges in Jakarta, Central Sulawesi, and Sumatra. As in previous years, the Government continued to mount effective prosecutions and the courts continued to convict those arrested in cases such as the Marriott bombing, although prosecution cases could have been strengthened in many instances. Additionally, prosecutors have begun levying terrorism charges against suspects involved in sectarian violence in Maluku and Central Sulawesi.

In September 2003, the Indonesian Supreme Court found suspected JI Emir Abu Bakar Ba'asyir guilty of document fraud and immigration violations, but exonerated him on charges of leading and participating in treasonous acts, accepting defense arguments that prosecutors had shown no connection between Ba'asyir and JI. A Supreme Court decision in January 2004 reduced his sentence from three years to 18 months. As Ba'asyir completed that sentence in April 2004, Indonesian police rearrested him and charged him with conspiracy to commit terrorist acts, linking him to the Bali and Marriott bombings as well as to a cache of arms and explosives found in central Java. His trial began in October 2004 and was ongoing at year's end.

In July, the Constitutional Court struck down the retroactive application of the 2003 Anti-Terror Law, passed after the Bali attack. In a divided decision, the Court ruled that the Bali bombings did not constitute an extraordinary crime. Both the Constitutional Court and Supreme Court officials said publicly the ruling would not affect Bali bombing cases already adjudicated. At the time of writing, no sentences of those convicted of Bali-related charges have been appealed based on the Constitutional Court ruling.

In October, an Indonesian court convicted and sentenced Rusman "Gun Gun" Gunawan, an Indonesian connected to the bombing of the J.W. Marriott hotel in Jakarta, to four years in prison for his role in helping facilitate the transfer of funds for that attack.

The South Jakarta District Court handed down an important verdict in November when it found JI member Mohammad Qital guilty under corporate criminal liability provisions of the Anti-Terror Law. In its decision, the court officially recognized the existence of JI and acknowledged that it engaged in terrorist actions. The court then found Qital guilty of terrorist activities through his duties as a JI member. However, at year's end, JI was not a banned organization in Indonesia. The Government has also established and is implementing an interagency process for responding to UN 1267 Sanctions Committee designations. The Government of Indonesia notified the UN Resolution 1373 Committee that it has frozen 18 accounts, but the details of those freeze orders are unclear.

By year's end, newly-elected President Yudhoyono had identified the capture of fugitive JI bomb-makers Noordin Mohammad Top and Azahari Hussein as a top priority. The Indonesian Government demonstrated commitment to regional leadership in counterterrorism efforts by working with the Australians to establish the Jakarta Center for Law Enforcement Cooperation (JCLEC), which will develop into a regional counterterrorism training institute.


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