Overview: With more than 17,000 islands, Indonesia is the world's largest archipelagic nation. As a result, securing land and sea borders remains an ongoing challenge. Although Indonesia does not provide a safe haven for terrorists, terrorists meet and train in the isolated area near Poso, Central Sulawesi.
In 2014, Indonesia expanded international counterterrorism cooperation, including with the United States. Indonesia sustained pressure on terrorists and their networks, particularly those operating within its borders, but continued to face challenges trying to stem the flow of Indonesians traveling abroad to engage in terrorism. The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) became a major impetus for further counterterrorism efforts. The emergence in July of a recruitment video calling for Indonesians to join ISIL focused the attention of the government and civil society and religious groups on countering the ISIL threat. Indonesian government officials have estimated that up to 300 Indonesians may have traveled to the Middle East since 2012 to engage in terrorist activities.
2014 Terrorist Incidents: The Eastern Indonesia Mujahedin (MIT) claimed responsibility for the September 18 murder of M. Fadli in Poso, Central Sulawesi. MIT is a Poso-based terrorist group led by Abu Wardah, also known as Santoso, one of Indonesia's most wanted terrorists.
Fatal shootings of police officers on March 28, June 2, and August 16 in the Bima region of West Nusa Tenggara province were handled as acts of terrorism. The targeting of police and security forces by terrorists is a trend that has emerged since 2009.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Indonesia follows a strong rule-of-law- based counterterrorism approach. After investigation by police, terrorist suspects' dossiers are sent to the Task Force on Counterterrorism and Transnational Crimes, which is part of the Attorney General's Office, for prosecution. Relevant legislation includes the Law on Combating Criminal Acts of Terrorism (15/2003), the 1951 Emergency Law, and Indonesia's Criminal Code.
Counterterrorism efforts are police-led, with Detachment 88 – the elite counterterrorism unit of the police – leading operations and investigations. Counterterrorism units from the Indonesian military may be called upon to support domestic counterterrorism operations and responses on an as-needed basis. Law enforcement units are increasingly able to detect, and in some cases prevent, attacks before they are carried out.
Law enforcement personnel participated in a range of training and professional development activities, including through the Department of State's Antiterrorism Assistance program, with training focused on building sustainable police capacity in tactical crisis response and investigative skills.
In August, government officials banned support for ISIL. However, this ban is a proclamation and does not have the force of law. Officials are considering measures to revise Indonesia's legislative framework to make it more effective. Authorities made at least 10 arrests of alleged ISIL supporters. The Ministry of Communications and Information blocked 20 ISIL-related websites. To complement these actions, officials recognized the need for a counter-messaging campaign; these efforts were nascent at year's end. Many of Indonesia's countermeasures against ISIL also addressed the broader threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters, whether affiliated with ISIL or other violent extremist groups operating in the Middle East.
In September, then-President Yudhoyono outlined a series of measures to counter ISIL. To prevent the travel of potential foreign fighters, Yudhoyono called for increased scrutiny of passport and visa issuances. The government held a series of coordination meetings with foreign officials, including from transit and destination countries. Yudhoyono announced that Indonesian citizens abroad and foreigners within Indonesia would be monitored more closely. He said the surveillance of terrorist prisoners would be tightened and called for heightened vigilance throughout Indonesia, especially in areas vulnerable to or with a history of violent extremism. In December, authorities in Malaysia arrested and later deported seven Indonesian citizens, accompanied by five children, who were planning travel to Syria to join ISIL.
Indonesia's efforts dovetailed with obligations outlined in UN Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs) 2170 and 2178. For example, Indonesia condemned ISIL and sought to prevent the movements of terrorists, including through enhanced controls related to the issuance of identity papers. Indonesia implemented several of the Global Counterterrorism Forum's (GCTF's) good practices for a more effective response against foreign terrorist fighters.
Immigration officials at major ports of entry, especially larger international air and seaports, have access to biographic and biometric domestic-only databases. Military and police personnel are often posted at major ports of entry to ensure security. Police maintain a watchlist of suspected terrorists, but there are not always clear lines of coordination among stakeholder agencies. Indonesia shares information through Interpol, but does not regularly screen through Interpol at immigration checkpoints. Information sharing with countries in the region is often on an ad hoc basis, and there is no centralized database or platform for the sharing of information with countries in the region or internationally.
As of early November, there were 274 terrorist prisoners held in approximately 26 prisons throughout Indonesia, overseen by the Directorate General of Corrections, under the Ministry of Law and Human Rights. Some of Indonesia's most hardened terrorists and ideologues are incarcerated in several prisons on the island of Nusakambangan, off the southern coast of Java. Authorities remained concerned about the potential recidivism of released terrorist prisoners. As an example, Muhammad Sibgotulloh was detained in Malaysia in early December, suspected of attempting to travel to join ISIL, and was returned to Indonesia two weeks later. Sibgotulloh had previously served a three-year jail term based on support lent to Umar Patek, one of the principal makers of a bomb used in the 2002 Bali terrorist attacks.
Police conducted periodic raids against suspected terrorists, with a particular focus on Poso, Central Sulawesi. By mid-November, law enforcement officials had arrested 44 suspects on terrorism charges, including 10 ISIL-related arrests. During a raid on New Year's Eve in Ciputat, near Jakarta, police killed six alleged terrorists. At least one of the suspects was reportedly planning travel to Syria. Evidence seized indicated the group was responsible for a series of bank robberies – used to fund terrorism – and the April 2013 bombing of a Buddhist temple in Jakarta. On September 13, police in Central Sulawesi arrested seven people, including four Uighurs from China's Xinjiang Province, for alleged links to MIT. On September 20, law enforcement authorities arrested five suspects with ties to terrorism in connection with the series of shootings in the Bima region of West Nusa Tenggara province; one suspect was killed.
In January, judges at the South Jakarta District Court sentenced four men to prison terms ranging from six to seven-and-a-half years for their roles in a failed plan to bomb the Burmese Embassy in Jakarta in May 2013. On March 3, Haris Fauzi was sentenced to nine years in jail for his involvement in a failed plot to assassinate the vice mayor of Makassar, South Sulawesi, in 2012. Fauzi is associated with a terrorist group affiliated with Abu Roban, and had participated in terrorist training camps in the Poso area.
Despite these domestic convictions, Indonesian law lacks the provisions to criminalize and prosecute acts of, and support for, terrorism committed abroad. Frequent personnel rotation at various agencies – including the police, Attorney General's Office, and judiciary – represents a challenge to building long-term institutional expertise. Prosecutors sometimes use other laws and criminal statutes not specific to terrorism to prosecute and convict terrorists. As a result, these individuals are not counted or tracked through the justice system as convicted terrorists, creating a potential loophole in disengagement and de-radicalization efforts.
Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Indonesia is a member of the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering, a regional Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style body, and the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units. In 2013, Indonesia's House of Representatives passed Law 9 of 2013, "the Bill on Prevention and Eradication of Crimes of Financing of Terrorism" (TF Law) and the legislation became effective in March 2013. Fifteen defendants have been prosecuted under this law since its passage. According to the UNSC and the FATF, Indonesia has not yet fully implemented UNSCRs 1267 and 1373. By November 26, Indonesia had issued orders to freeze the assets of all 1267/1989 (al-Qa'ida) sanctioned individuals and entities. Indonesia is working on a joint regulation to ensure that its freezing process is "without delay," in accordance with UNSCRs 1267, 1988, and 1373. The FATF continued to include Indonesia on its Public Statement list, noting that Indonesia needs to address certain deficiencies in the TF law regarding identifying and freezing terrorist assets.
The passage of the TF Law was an important step forward and Indonesia has filed cases under this new legislation; while the law could have stronger conspiracy and preparatory act provisions, it does allow for investigation and prosecution of TF offenses. However, the law does not meet international standards because the mechanism to freeze terrorist assets as applied to UNSCRs 1267, 1988, and 1373, does not "freeze without delay." The TF law requires steps to be taken by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the police, and the court system, among others, before terrorist assets can be frozen and/or confiscated, thus impeding the ability to freeze "without delay." Indonesia is working to address this issue.
Indonesia does not oblige non-profit organizations to file suspicious transaction reports or regulate and monitor them to prevent misuse and terrorist financing. Although non-profit organizations such as religious and charitable organizations are licensed and required to file suspicious transaction reports, the TF Law does not require monitoring or the regulation of such organizations to prevent misuse, including terrorist financing.
For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2014 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Regional and International Cooperation: Indonesia participates in counterterrorism efforts through several international, multilateral, and regional fora including: the UN, the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), ASEAN, APEC, and others. Indonesia expanded regional and international cooperation, especially in response to the foreign terrorist fighter issue. Indonesia participated in a range of GCTF workshops where participants shared best practices and lessons learned, thereby supporting the capacity building efforts of other countries. In August, with co-chair Australia, Indonesia launched the GCTF's new Working Group on Detention and Reintegration. Indonesia remained active in the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Inter-Sessional Meetings on Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC). Indonesia completed a second year as the Chair of the Counter-Terrorism Task Force of APEC. Under Indonesian leadership, the task force was upgraded to a working group. Indonesian efforts drove the creation of a five-year plan focused on the security of supply chains, travel, finance, and infrastructure. In September, Indonesia co-sponsored UNSCR 2178 on foreign terrorist fighters.
Countering Radicalization to Violence and Violent Extremism: Indonesian officials recognized the importance of addressing radicalization to violence and countering violent extremism (CVE). CVE programs are included in counterterrorism efforts, but because of limited resources and the vast amount of territory of the Indonesian archipelago, CVE efforts are not yet comprehensive. Government efforts are augmented by contributions from various civil society organizations that are active in CVE efforts. Some of the groups offered positive alternatives – such as sports, film-making, camps, and rallies – for populations vulnerable to violent extremism, especially youth.
Indonesia's National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) supported a school outreach program that included former terrorists, survivors of terrorist attacks, law enforcement personnel, and religious leaders. The BNPT continued to use the Terrorism Prevention Coordination Forum (FKPT), a program located in more than 20 of Indonesia's provinces, as a platform for broader outreach. Forum participants are usually civic and religious leaders who coordinate activities with the communities on CVE-related programming. The FKPT network also conducts programs designed to maximize the positive influence of families and community members regarding the reintegration of former terrorist prisoners. Over time, officials aim to establish a Forum in each of Indonesia's 34 provinces. BNPT planned to continue a program that invites religious leaders from the Middle East to meet terrorist prisoners in Indonesia, with the aim to foster a more moderate and peaceful mindset among convicted terrorists.
A de-radicalization blueprint for terrorist prisoners issued by the BNPT in late 2013 has yet to be fully implemented. Counterterrorism officials, in coordination with the Directorate General of Corrections and other relevant law enforcement agencies, have planned to open a de-radicalization center in Sentul, south of Jakarta. There is ongoing debate about how to handle the most hardcore ideologues, but the evolving consensus is to confine these prisoners in one of Indonesia's maximum security detention centers.