Category Archives: Terrorism

TNI leaving barracks to root out radicalism

Officials from the National Antiterrorism Agency (BNPT), the Indonesian Military (TNI) and the National Police agreed that the TNI must take the initiative domestically to curb religious radicals.

“We have demanded the TNI’s participation through their vast network of territorial commands to persuade individuals or groups to abandon radical teachings,” BNPT chief Ansyaad Mbai.

“For example, the TNI might visit a cleric who spreads hate speech and radicalism during Friday prayers, and persuade him to deliver more peaceful sermons.”

The TNI, Ansyaad said, could also enlist the Babinsa, non-commissioned officers assigned to villages to promote development, to counter radicals.

The decision to involve the TNI was emphasized during an inaugural BNPT coordination meeting on Tuesday that was attended by all 151 of the TNI’s military district (Kodim)commanders and around 350 district police chiefs.

The meeting was also attended by Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Djoko Suyanto, TNI chief Adm. Agus Suhartono, Army chief Gen. Pramono Edhie Wibowo and National Police chief Gen. Timur Pradopo.

Despite the fall of the Soeharto’s authoritarian New Order in 1998, the TNI’s leaders continue to believe that internal threats to the nation’s stability are greater than external threats.

Ansyaad emphasized that the TNI would not have the authority to detain people, which was the sole remit of the National Police as the enforcers of security.

“Don’t get me wrong. The TNI is not authorized to detain people, but they can grab hold of somebody who might harm others, and then transfer him or her to the police for prosecution,” Ansyaad said.

Umar Patek to be sent to Indonesia

AN ALLEGED mastermind of the 2002 Bali bombings that killed more than 200 people will be sent to Indonesia after being arrested in Pakistan in March, a senior counter terrorism official said on Monday.

‘Pakistan has delivered a message early July that they will send Umar Patek to Indonesia,’ National Anti-Terror Agency (BNPT) deputy chief Tito Karnavian told reporters.

Jakarta’s foreign and justice ministries are now working to process Patek’s deportation, he said.

Indonesian counter-terrorism police have been tracking Patek for years. One of the most wanted Islamic extremists in South-east Asia, he has a US$1 million (S$1.21 million) bounty on his head under the US government’s ‘Rewards for Justice’ programme.

Born in 1970, Patek was allegedly the field coordinator for the massive explosions that flattened nightclubs on Bali, killing 202 people, and placed mainly Muslim Indonesia on the front lines of the global battle against Islamic militancy.

Patek is a suspected member of Al-Qaeda-linked South-east Asian terror network Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), blamed for a series of deadly bombings targeting Christians and Westerners in Indonesia dating back to 1999

Singapore embassy in Jakarta ‘targeted by terrorists’

INDONESIAN anti-terrorism officials on Wednesday said that recently arrested suspects wanted to attack the Singapore embassy in Jakarta, targeting Singaporeans leaving the compound.

The 11 suspects, thought to be members of a terror cell led by known radical Abu Umar alias Zulfikar, 41, were nabbed two weeks ago around Java.

Related: Singaporeans in Indonesia advised to stay vigilant

Singapore embassy in Jakarta ‘targeted by terrorists’

INDONESIAN anti-terrorism officials on Wednesday said that recently arrested suspects wanted to attack the Singapore embassy in Jakarta, targeting Singaporeans leaving the compound.

The 11 suspects, thought to be members of a terror cell led by known radical Abu Umar alias Zulfikar, 41, were nabbed two weeks ago around Java.

Related: Singaporeans in Indonesia advised to stay vigilant

GP Ansor wants Umar bin Khattab boarding school to be closed

The youth wing of Muslim organization Nahdlatul Ulama, GP Ansor, said that Umar bin Khattab Islamic boarding school in Bima, West Nusa Tenggara, should be closed for its alleged connection to a terror plot.
“Otherwise, it could lead to the stigmatization of other Islamic boarding schools as a perpetrator of violence,” GP Ansor chairman Nusron Wahid said on Sunday, as quoted by tribunnews.com.
The boarding school is located in Sanolo village, Bolo district, where a bomb killed school treasurer Suryanto, aka Firdaus, earlier this week.
The police said they also discovered documents on jihad at the school.
The police faced resistance from the school’s board members and other students when attempting to enter the school’s grounds to investigate. They were only allowed in after a series of negotiations.
Principal Abrory and some of his students are wanted in the wake of the police’s finding of homemade bombs, arrows and sharp weapons at the school.
When the police entered the school, they found that the principal and some students had already fled.
The police have named eight people as suspects in the case.

Principal of Umar bin Khatab boarding school arrested

INDONESIA arrested the principal of an Islamic boarding school suspected of being a bomb factory on Friday following an explosion inside the campus earlier in the week, police said.

‘The West Nusa Tenggara police have arrested the principal of Umar bin Khatab boarding school, Abrori,’ National police spokesman Ketut Untung Yoga Ana said.

Mr Ana said the police arrested Abrori while he was at his parents’ house.

‘Abrori is suspected to be involved in the explosion at the school and also the slashing of a police officer in Bolo. He is being transferred from Bima to Mataram police headquarters for investigation,’ he said.

On Wednesday, police and soldiers surrounded the school in Bima town in West Nusa Tenggara province, two days after a bomb blast there had killed a suspected terrorist.

Students and teachers armed with knives and swords prevented police from investigating the blast, leading to a standoff that ended peacefully when the armed individuals mysteriously disappeared. After entering the school, police found nine Molotov cocktails spread over several locations, a number of sharp weapons, books on Jihad, arrows and several tools to assemble bombs.

Weapons, explosives, jihadist materials at Bima pondok pesantren

Authorities found weapons, explosives and jihadist materials at an Islamic school in central Indonesia after a three-day standoff, police said Thursday.
Police descended on the Umar bin Khatab Islamic boarding School, in Bima, West Nusa Tenggara province, on Monday after an explosion there killed one person.
Students at the school, armed with machetes and arrows, blocked police officers who had gone there to investigate the explosion. The standoff ended Wednesday night when police opened fire and entered the school.
One person was injured by a stray bullet, according Maj. Gen. Anton Bachrul Alam with the National Police.
Seven people have been detained. The school’s owner escaped, he said.
After searching the location, police found nine Molotov bombs, explosive materials, several jihadist videos, arrows and other homemade weapons, Alam said.
Two assembled bombs were also found under a bridge near the school but a police bomb squad was able to defuse them, he said.
The man who died in Monday’s explosion was a member of the Jemaah Islamiyah terror network and trained as bombmaker in the Southern Philippines, according to local media reports. Police suspect he was showing students how to assemble a bomb that was going to be used in an attack on the police.
The school also is suspected of having ties with the organization Jamaat Tawhid Anshorut, or JAT, founded by jailed Islamic cleric Abu Bakar Bashir.
Last month, the radical cleric was convicted and sentenced to 15 years for helping set up a militant training camp in Aceh province. Bashir is also known as the former spiritual leader of Jemaah Islamiyah.
A JAT spokesman denied any connection between the school and the organization despite local media reports that quoted him saying otherwise.
“It doesn’t have relation with JAT,” spokesman Sonhadi, who goes by one name, told CNN. “It’s not part of JAT.” He later said that two former members of the organization worked at the school.

Police open fire in Pesantren siege, wounding three

Indonesian police wounded three people at an Islamic school on Sumbawa island Wednesday when they opened fire to disperse students who had prevented them from investigating a deadly explosion there, a spokesman said.
The blast at the Umar bin Khattab boarding school Monday killed the institution’s treasurer but the students and staff armed with sticks and machetes had refused to let police investigate the scene.
‘We have tried to use a persuasive approach but the school still wouldn’t allow us to enter,’ national police spokesman Untung Yoga Ana said.
‘I wish we didn’t have to use force,’ he said.
The spokesman said additional personnel were being sent to reinforce the local anti-riot police surrounding the school.
The Jakarta Globe newspaper said the school housed 45 students, as well as teachers and a number of supporters.
Local media reported that the man killed in Monday’s blast was a militant who learned to make bombs in the southern Philippines, home to Muslim separatist rebels.
Police last month arrested an 18-year-old student of the school for allegedly killing a police officer.
Investigators said the student was believed to be a member of a militant Islamic group.

Earlier: Police Shut Out as Students Barricade Bomb-Blast Pesantren 

Police Shut Out as Students Barricade Bomb-Blast Pesantren

An Islamic boarding school here on Sumbawa Island was the scene of a makeshift siege on Tuesday as armed students prevented police officers from entering to investigate a suspected bomb blast there the previous day.

The school was thrust into the public spotlight two weeks ago when one of its student killed a policeman, and on Monday the school’s treasurer died after it was rocked by an explosion believed to have been caused by a homemade bomb.

National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Anton Bachrul Alam said on Tuesday that police had arrested 10 possible suspects following the explosion at the Umar bin Khatab pesantren in Sanolo village, Bolo subdistrict.

A spokesman for the West Nusa Tenggara Police, Adj. Comr. Sudjoko, said the explosion occurred at about 3:30 p.m. on Monday, killing a man identified as Firdaus, the school’s treasurer.“

The preliminary finding is that the blast was caused by the detonation of a homemade bomb,” he told journalists in the provincial capital, Mataram.

On Tuesday, a source from Densus 88, the police’s elite antiterror squad, said it believed the students were “most likely” learning how to make bombs when one exploded accidentally.

“Local officers have been barred from entering the school by the students, who are armed with weapons such as swords,” said the source, who declined to be named.

The source said that although police did not want a clash, “if there is no other choice, then we will use limited force.”

West Nusa Tenggara Police have deployed officers from the Mobile Brigade (Brimob) unit and specialized riot police to the scene to control the situation.

A platoon of soldiers from the subdistrict command has also been sent to safeguard the area.Sudjoko said the school had been uncooperative and students had resisted all police efforts to enter the school to investigate the explosion.

“More efforts are now being made and hopefully there will be an agreement and a way out so that the thing we all don’t want to happen can be prevented,” he said.

Anton confirmed that negotiations with the school were ongoing. “We don’t want a clash to happen,” he said.He said the police believed that bombs were being made at the school so they could be used in attacks on the police, although he did not elaborate.

Police have been the target of a series of attacks in recent months, including the bombing of a mosque at a police compound in Cirebon, West Java, in April and the gunning down of two policemen in Central Sulawesi in May.

Meanwhile, villagers armed with sticks and stones clashed with police as they attempted to block a main road linking the districts of Bima and Dompu, which is the home district of the dead man, Firdaus.

Three teenagers aged between 14 and 17 had been shot, residents said, while the police reported that only one resident was hit by a rubber bullet and had been taken to the hospital.

Dompu Police Chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Agus Nugroho said the villagers were furious the Bima Police had refused to hand over Firdaus’s body before an autopsy was conducted.

On June 30, one of the school’s students, 16-year-old Sa’ban Umar, allegedly went to the Bolo subdistrict police station and stabbed an officer to death.Sa’ban was quoted by police as having said he attacked the policeman because he was an infidel who enforced rules and regulations that went against Islam.

Son Hadi, a spokesman for Jamaah Ansharut Tauhid (JAT), a hard-line group founded by convicted terrorist Abu Bakar Bashir, acknowledged that the boarding school in Bima had links with his organization.

“However, I don’t know what happened there,” he said. “I’m still trying to get confirmation from officials from JAT’s Bima chapter.”

Malaysia to deport Agus Salim to Indonesia

A suspected member of an Indonesian militant group, Agus Salim, 34, who was detained on June 6, is expected to be deported to Indonesia on Monday.

Bukit Aman Special Task Force (Operations/Anti Terrorist) director Datuk Mohamad Fuzi Harun said investigations on Agus had been completed and the case was currently the responsibility of the Immigration Department.

“We are satisfied with all the investigations which have been carried out,” he said after closing a course on investigation science programme here Friday.

Agus, 34, from Medan, Indonesia who was detained in Malaysia two years ago before being deported, was arrested recently for using a false identification document to re-enter Malaysia.

His arrest in 2009 was for planning to take South East Asia’s most wanted terrorist, Mas Selamat Kastari, who was hiding in Malaysia, to Indonesia.