Country Reports on Terrorism 2007 - Indonesia

Indonesia experienced its second consecutive year of no major terrorist incidents. Radical groups in Indonesia had their ability to carry out attacks further diminished as a result of the Indonesian government's counterterrorism efforts. The Indonesian National Police (INP) scored major successes in breaking up terrorist cells linked to Jemaah Islamiya (JI) and other violent Islamic extremist organizations. While JI cells in Java and Central Sulawesi were weakened, JI and its radical associates remained a security threat to both Western and domestic targets. The Attorney General's Office made some strides toward conducting more efficient and effective counterterrorism prosecutions despite weaknesses in Indonesia's counterterrorism law. The Government of Indonesia continued to create a legal and law enforcement environment conducive to fighting terrorism within its borders, and numerous terrorists were convicted of crimes. One measure of the successful efforts to curb terrorism was the return of tourists to the country. In 2007, the number of tourists to Indonesia increased 14 percent; Bali, where tourists have been the target of terrorist attacks, experienced a 32 percent increase in tourism.

In January, the INP conducted two raids against a radical stronghold in Poso, Central Sulawesi. The second raid used 500 security force personnel against a large group of terrorists and their supporters, who were armed with small arms and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). The raids ended with 18 dead, 18 injured, and 28 captured. Subsequent operations netted five more suspects. While the Poso operation was criticized as "heavy-handed" by some members of the local community, it calmed the previously tense situation in Central Sulawesi. There were no reprisal attacks following the raids. In March, information gained from the Poso suspects helped the INP initiate a series of raids in Central and East Java which resulted in the arrest of several members of the so-called "military wing" of JI and several cell leaders and the seizure of a large cache of explosives in East Java. In June, INP's Special Detachment 88 (SD-88) in Central Java, arrested several key JI terrorist operatives, including alleged JI Emir Ustad Syahroni (aka Zarkasih) and senior JI operative Abu Dujana (aka Ainul Bahri). As the JI Emir, Afghanistan-veteran Zarkasih, a former JI leader, is thought to be senior to Dujana in the JI hierarchy. Dujana, also an Afghanistan-veteran, was part of JI's central command and was involved in several JI attacks in recent years.

The arrests in January, March, and June removed several key JI leaders. To create sympathy for these radical groups and to discredit the INP (especially SD-88), lawsuits were brought against the INP by Abu Dujana's wife and by JI cofounder and spiritual leader, Abu Bakar Ba'asyir. The two lawsuits did not create the expected groundswell of public attention and were eventually thrown out of court.

The newly formed USG-funded Attorney General's Task Force on Terrorism and Transnational Crime took the leading role in handling prosecutions of terrorists. The Task Force won convictions against: Hasanuddin, a JI leader in Poso; four men who participated in the 2005 schoolgirl beheadings; and three others who were involved in the 2005 Tentena market bombings. The Attorney General also won convictions against 17 Poso Christians who had murdered two Muslims in revenge killings in September 2006. The Task Force is currently prosecuting a dozen members of JI's military unit who were arrested in the March and June raids, including Dujana and Zarkasih.

Other Indonesian legal institutions took a hard line against terrorists. In September, the Supreme Court rejected the final appeals of three men on death row for carrying out the 2002 Bali bombings. The Court also upheld the life sentence imposed on JI trainer/recruiter Subur Sugiyarto. In October, the Ministry of Law and Human Rights announced that convicted terrorists would no longer be given automatic sentence remissions at major holidays. The new policy came too late to prevent the early release of some 20 convicted terrorists in 2007, but most of these were minor figures.

The Indonesian government made genuine efforts to develop an effective anti-money laundering system for investigations and prosecutions. Indonesian police froze terrorist financial assets uncovered during investigations. However, the government's implementation of the UNSCR 1267 sanctions was hampered by poor interagency coordination and by continued lack of human and technical capacity within both the government and financial institutions. It remains to be seen whether or not the Government of Indonesia has the political will to do what is necessary to implement UNSCR 1267.

USAID is promoting capacity-building through its Financial Crimes Prevention Project, a multi-year program to provide technical advisors and support to Indonesia's effort to develop an effective and credible regime against money laundering and terrorism finance. Other donors are also providing assistance to the Financial Crimes Transaction and Analysis Center (PPATK). The unit receives Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) and Cash Transaction Reports. PPATK has dramatically increased the number of STRs from 10 per month in 2002 to 483 per month in 2007 and these reports have led to 32 successful prosecutions to date. While only one of these had a terrorist component, strengthened financial oversight will assist the Indonesian government in tracking potential terrorist financial transactions.

The Indonesian National Police (INP) continued a program to "de-radicalize" convicted terrorists. The program identified individuals who may be open to more moderate teachings and INP officials work with them while they are in prison. The program focuses on providing spiritual support to the men and modest financial support to their families. By providing this support, the police attempt to gain the trust of the men and receive valuable information about terrorist networks. The program aims to reduce terrorist recruitment inside prisons.

While Indonesia's counterterrorism efforts have been impressive, more could be done in some areas. Despite the successes in Sulawesi and Central Java, JI networks and "sleeper" cells may remain intact and have the capacity to go operational with little warning. Moreover, Malaysian JI operative and recruiter Noordin Mohammed Top, who is suspected of involvement in every anti-Western terrorist attack in Indonesia since 2002, remains at large.


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