Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Christian parents of beheaded school girls forgive assailants

Poso (AsiaNews) – The parents of three Christian girls who were beheaded last year in Poso, central Sulawesi, have forgiven their daughters’ executioners. Yesterday, Indonesian police organized a meeting between families of the victims and the three terrorists now on trial. Hasanuddin, who organized the triple murder, repeatedly said he had repented and expressed his profound sorrow together with his two accomplices, Irwanto and Haris.

In tears, the mother of one of the girls said she was ready to pardon them. The Islamic militants and Christian families embraced and shook hands as a sign of peace.

The police spokesman said “the meeting of Poso has no political ends other than to promote harmony” and the forces of order had merely facilitated the encounter. The police chief Sutanto described the meeting as a “historic moment” when the victims and murderers could “exchange their deepest feelings and seek to forgive.”

Indonesia’s vice president Jusuf Kalla, said he hoped yesterday’s meeting would be “an opportunity to bring peace to Poso”.

On October 29, 2005, four Christian schoolgirls, all around 15 years of age, were walking home. Three were assaulted and beheaded by men using machetes near the Gebang Rejo area in Poso. The case repulsed public opinion and was strongly condemned by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Benedict XVI.

Hasanuddin, Irwanto and Haris have pleaded guilty to their part in their killings and could be condemned to death. The accused men said they attacked the young girls to avenge the death of many Muslims during inter-faith clashes in Poso between 1998 and 2001.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Bali victims still hurting from Indonesian legal system injustice

(Herald Sun) AUSTRALIANS devastated by the Bali atrocities are angry that convicted terrorists have been released from jail.

Melbourne man Dale Atkin, who suffered severe burns in the Sari Club bombing in 2002, said he was haunted each day by thoughts of the masterminds behind the bombings.

He said the victims can never be free from the pain inflicted by the attacks.

Mr Atkin said anyone linked to terrorism in Bali should be jailed for at least 20 years, and the key protagonists executed.

"They've probably been in jail for maybe a couple of years. That's not enough, they're accessories to murder.

"They played a part in killing 202 people.

"What's next? Are they going to let the main players off who are waiting to be executed?

"I think about the ones on death row every day.

"I read the paper and think 'Have they killed them yet?' I'm nervous they will be let off too," Mr Atkin said.

Dave "Spike" Stewart, who lost his son Anthony in the Kuta nightclub blasts, said he was disgusted by the lenient sentences for terrorists and demanded Prime Minister John Howard intervene.

"I'm worried it'll be Amrozi and his brothers that will be released next," he said.

Mr Stewart feared more attacks would be planned.

"John Howard has got to do something because as soon as they get out they'll do it again," he said.

"If people think they can get away with doing things like this, it could be our grandchildren who are victims in later years."

Australia should halt all foreign aid to Indonesia until those convicted of involvement in terrorism are sentenced harshly, Mr Stewart said.

Leanne Woodgate, who escaped death when she fled Paddy's bar with her sister Samantha and AFL footballer Jason McCartney, said she was frustrated by the Indonesian legal system.

She said it gave no justice for those affected by the tragedy.

Ms Woodgate suffered severe burns in the bombing and is still traumatised by her ordeal.

She believes those involved in the bombing could plan more attacks from jail.

"They killed 202 people," she said.

"While they're alive they've still got the opportunity to plan these attacks. I believe they should die. You wouldn't want anyone to go through what we went through.

"It's so hard to come to terms with the processes.

"The (Bali Nine) drug mules didn't kill 202 people. There's just no consistency."

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Militant tries to avoid the death penalty

In a plea to try to save his life, beheadings ringleader Hasanuddin asks for mercy. Mercy is something didn't have before when planning the attacks so why should it be shown now for him?

(Releads with admission and comments from main defendant)

JAKARTA, Nov 15 (Reuters) - The main defendant in the beheadings of three Christian schoolgirls last year admitted on Wednesday he was involved in planning to carry out the attack but rejected charges he came up with the idea.

Prosecutors last week accused Muslim militant Hasanuddin of masterminding the atrocity although they said he did not take part in the actual ambush in the Poso region of Central Sulawesi province, an area where deadly Muslim-Christian clashes broke out from 1998 to 2001.

When the trial resumed on Wednesday, Hasanuddin said: "I was involved in this case." But he added a fugitive Islamic cleric had masterminded the plot during talks in which he participated.

"With honesty and sincerity coming from my heart, I ask for forgiveness from the families of the victims. I promise to never repeat it again," the 34-year-old said.

The beheadings triggered an outcry across Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, and beyond. The Vatican described the attack as "barbaric".

Prosecutors said last week the attack was plotted by Hasanuddin to avenge the killing of scores of Muslims at a boarding school by a Christian mob in 2000, the peak of the Poso violence.

Earlier on Wednesday, prosecutors outlined the roles of two other Muslim men in the beheading case.

The prosecution said defendants Lilik Purnomo and Irwanto Irano were following Hasanuddin's orders when they carried out the attack against four girls on their way to school.

"Irwanto Irano was assigned to lead the ambush on the small path assisted by four other members of the group. Lilik Purnomo was the field coordinator assigned to observe the situation," state prosecutor Firmansyah said.

Lead prosecutor Asep Maryono said the two defendants faced charges of criminal conspiracy in a terrorist crime and premeditated murder, both offences carry the maximum penalty of death.

Abu Bakar Rasyide, a defence lawyer for Purnomo and Irano, said after the court hearing: "We cannot accept the charges because they are not based on facts."

The prosecution said neither Purnomo nor Irano were the ones who swung the machetes that decapitated the three girls during the Oct. 29, 2005 attack.

The other alleged members of the seven-member ambush team are still at large, including one whose job was to make sure the girls could not escape.

One of the four girls who was attacked was wounded but managed to escape and report what had happened.

All three defendants are being tried under Indonesia's anti-terrorism laws and could face death by firing squad if the court finds them guilty.

The trials could last for months.

Bali bombers could be executed any day now

Cilacap, C Java (ANTARA News) - Three death row convicts of the 2002 Bali bombings -- Amrozi, Imam Samudra and Ali Gufron alias Muklas -- said the sooner their execution the better, their lawyers said.

"Our three clients are ready for execution at any time. They are not afraid of being shot, beheaded, electrocuted or injected. But they asked that the death penalty must be done under the prevailing law," coordinator of the Muslim Lawyers Team, Achmad Michdan, said after visiting Amrozi and associates at the Batu prison, Nusakambangan, Cilacap, on Tuesday.

Achmad said he got information several times that Amrozi and his friends would be executed soon, and even certain persons informed they would face a firing squad tonight. Whereas, upto now the Muslim Lawyers Team are still collecting evidence to complete the document for a judicial review on the case of Amrozi and friends, so that the Attorney General`s Office would unlikely carry out the execution without the convicts` legal measures.

Another team member, Qadar Faisal, said his three clients did not question the time of their execution as they only asked that their families could attend the event.

"They want their families witness the execution or at least they would be in the same town. We also call on all parties to help pay the accommodation costs during their stay to witness the execution," he said.

Meanwhile, Imam Samudra asked for a chance to write a book on terrorism before his execution. The book would contain a number of statements and news which had cornered him.

"Imam hopes officials at the prison would provide him with a lap-top for writing a book on muslims and terrorists," Qadar said.

Poso murder suspect surrenders

Palu, Central Sulawesi (ANTARA News) - One of 29 names on the list of men wanted by the police over alleged involvement in a series of attacks in sectarian conflict in Poso district, Central Sulawesi, surrendered to local security officials on Tuesday, Central Sulawesi police spokesman Adjunct Senior Commissioner Muhammad Kilat said here on Wednesday.

Kilat said Andi Illalu alias Andi Bocor, 38, gave himself up with the assistance of H Razak, a prominent figure in Mapane village, Poso Pesisir sub district on Tuesday.

Andi Bocor was included in the list of men wanted by the police after being officially charged for his involvement in the killing of Aswin, a Landangan villager in Poso Pesisir, last September.

Kilat said Andi Bocor on his own initiative met H Razak and asked the latter to facilitate his surrender to the local police.

After being informed by H Razak, local police team and anti- terror detectives picked Andi Bocor up and handed him to Poso Resort Police Headquarters for further investigation.

Aboard police special airplane, the suspect was then flown from Poso to Central Sulawesi provincial capital of Palu for questioning.

Meanwhile, Kilat also called on local community and religious figures to help facilitate the surrender of 28 others who remained at large.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Police need to arrest militant Arsal in Poso

I don't get this. Adnan Arsal is a militant/terrorist and his group Poso Islamic Struggle Brotherhood Forum and his pesantren are involved in terrorism in the Poso area. He is hiding fugitives from the police to interfere with investigations into the recent terrorism and bombings in Poso and Palu. He has threatened the government and police with action if the elite forces Brimob are not removed from the area. His group has attacked the police in a rampage using guns, molotov cocktails, bombs and rocks while police were looking for the terrorists and weapon caches. His nephew is now standing trial for planning the beheadings of three Christian high school girls. His nephew's gang, which I'm sure the police have already connected to Arsal, is responsible for bombings and assassinations. This guy is one, if not the main instigator of trouble in Central Sulawesi and if Arsal and his gang is taken out then peace can be restored to Central Sulawesi.

TEMPO Interactive
, Palu: A number of leading figures in Poso have rejected the police plan to capture Ustad (Islamic mentor) Abdul Rahman Saleh (Arsal), the leader of the Amanah Pesantren (Islamic boarding school), Tanah Runtuh, Poso.

In addition to considering the plan as nonsense, they assume it is a strong indication that the police actually have a hidden agenda regarding the Poso Muslim leader.

“The capture of Ustad Adnan would worsen the Poso conflict reconciliation process,” said Harun Nyak Item Abu, a youth leader from Kayamanya, Poso, yesterday (12/11).

Ustad Ahmad from Gebang Rejo said that Adnan has become a Poso Muslim fighter.

Arsal is the main cause of the problem now. How can it affect the reconciliation process? And Harun, aren't you connected with one of the militant groups? Same with you Ustad. How come you haven't been arrested yet?

Therefore, if the police do capture him, Poso residents will certainly react.

A few Poso residents will react, mostly the remnants of the terrorist groups Tanah Runtuh and Kayamanya groups. The 99% of the general Muslim population in Central Sulawesi want peace while these terrorists don't want the conflict to end.

“He has never run out from Poso when open conflict broke out,” he said.

The plan for Arsal capture was stated by Indonesian Police (Polri) spokesman, Brig, Gen. Sisno Adiwinoto, on Friday (10/11).

The reason given was that Arsal was suspected of providing protection for 29 fugitives involved in a terrorism case in Poso, in addition to committing provocation criminal acts.

Tajwin Ibrahim, a member of Poso Muslim Defence Team, said he intends to block police efforts to capture Adnan.

He also asked that the security system in Poso be evaluated.

This is because during the six years of Poso conflicts, the amount of police and Indonesian Military (TNI) personnel there has never been reduced.

Why should the personnel be reduced? The terrorists are keeping the conflict going.

“So, not only residents, but also security personnel in Poso must also be evaluated,” he said.

Entering the third day of the hunt, the police have not yet captured even one of the 29 suspected terrorism perpetrators in Poso who have been included on the list of wanted persons.

Access points to Poso Regency have been closely guarded.

If Tajwin Ibrahim of the Poso Muslim Defence Team is going to try to stop the police from capturing Arsal then Ibrahim should be thrown in jail too. Who do these idiots think they are? Like I've said before, let the North Sulawesi Brimob hunt down these animals (yes, that what these terrorists are, animals). Guaranteed Arsal and the fugitives will either be caught or dead and either way the problem will be solved. BTW, Arsal, I'm waiting for another fatwa.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Beheading suspects were preparing for more

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – The trial of Hasanuddin, the first of three men charged with the 2005 decapitation of three Christian schoolgirls in Poso, Central Sulawesi, opened.

According to Prosecutor Payaman SH, Hasanuddin gave orders to his men to get “the heads of at least a hundred Kongkoli (a local epithet for Christians) youth, adults and women”. “This is vengeance,” the order read. “Blood will be paid with blood, a life with a life, a head with a head”. If found guilty, all three face the death penalty.

The three victims were attacked with a machete and beheaded in the Gebang Rejo area in Poso. Two heads were left near a police station and the other was dumped in front of a church. The crime shocked public opinion both in Indonesia and abroad.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono condemned the crime; Pope Benedict XVI called it a ‘barbaric murder”.

Hasanuddin, who is thought to have masterminded the triple murder, appeared before the judges in Jakarta’s central courthouse where the trial is being for security reasons.

The murders threatened to reignite violence between Sulawesi's Muslims and Christians, who were involved in sectarian violence between 1999 and 2001. Despite a peace deal in 2002, violence has repeatedly flared up since then.

Hasanuddin, who is charged with premeditated murder along with Lilik Purnomo and Irwanto Irano, did not make any statement at the beginning of the hearing.

Upon entering the courthouse, the three men’s lawyer said all three admitted to their involvement in the murders, which was perpetrated as an act of revenge against Christians for the death of Muslims.

Beheaded Christian high school girls were Ramadan trophies

THREE Christian high school girls were beheaded as a Ramadan "trophy" by Indonesian militants who conceived the idea after a visit to Philippines jihadists, a court heard yesterday.

The girls' severed heads were dumped in plastic bags in their village in Indonesia's strife-torn Central Sulawesi province, along with a handwritten note threatening more such attacks.

The note read: "Wanted: 100 more Christian heads, teenaged or adult, male or female; blood shall be answered with blood, soul with soul, head with head."

Javanese trader Hasanuddin appeared in Jakarta Central Court yesterday charged with planning and directing the murders in October last year. He faces a death sentence if found guilty under anti-terrorism legislation.

Hasanuddin allegedly returned from a visit to members of Philippines Islamist group the Moro Islamic Liberation Front with tales of how that organisation regularly staged bombings to coincide with Lebaran, the festival that ends the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. He later spoke with a preacher in Poso, Central Sulawesi, about whether such a plan could work in Indonesia, but expressed doubt about whether it was appropriate.

However, after further discussion with friends, he decided that beheading Christians could qualify as an act of Muslim charity.

Conscripting several accomplices at a local pesantren, or Islamic school, he directed one of them, Lilik Purnomo, to seek out "the head of a Christian", prosecutors alleged.

"It would be a great Lebaran trophy if we got a Christian. Go search for the best place for us to find one," Hasanuddin allegedly ordered his companion.

Lilik returned to say he had found an "excellent" target - a group of schoolgirls who travelled to and from class by foot in the Central Sulawesi village of Gebong Rejo. The village is in the district of Poso, where hundreds of people have died in sectarian violence in recent years.

Many observers worry that Central Sulawesi has become the latest battleground in a deadly jihad.

Three Christian men were executed there last month for their role in a massacre of Muslims in 2000 and there have been a series of deadly attacks in the province in recent months.

Prosecutors yesterday detailed how Hasanuddin, Lilik and co-accused Irwanto Irano planned the schoolgirl beheadings with six other men. They prepared six machetes and black plastic bags for carrying off the severed heads and spent several days surveying the area where the students regularly passed by.

The operation was called off on one occasion, when a woman spotted the attackers hiding by the roadside, waiting for their victims. On the night before the attack, Lilik told Hasanuddin: "I hope you are ready to receive your Lebaran gift."

The attack was launched the following morning, but only four of the six targeted girls appeared.

Lilik, directing the attack from a nearby hill, told his accomplices to act quickly so that the remaining two girls could still be killed should they appear behind their friends.

The attackers cleanly beheaded three of the students but a fourth, Noviana Malewa, escaped after a struggle and ran away screaming. Her attackers gave chase but were unable to catch her.

The bodies, dressed in school uniform, were left by the roadside near the execution site, but the heads were carried in a backpack to Hasanuddin.The trial of his two co-accomplices was adjourned until Wednesday, when Hasanuddin will also reappear.

The local pesantren where these accomplices were recruited from is owned and run by Hasanuddin's uncle Adnan Arsal, who has been causing trouble for local police, Brimob and security forces for the last few weeks. Adnan refuses to give up the whereabouts of the 29 fugitives wanted in connection with the recent Poso conflict. Adnan also has connections with Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, Laskar Jihad, Islamic Defenders Front and he is the president of the Poso Islamic Struggle Brotherhood Forum which is a militant/ paramilitary group which has members that have trained in local and Maluku terrorist training camps. My question is, why hasn't Adnan Arsal been arrested for harboring fugitives and hasn't been tied into the terrorism in the conflict yet?

Prosecution seeking 5 year jail term for Aussie embassy bombing accomplice

AN Indonesian prosecutor today sought a five-year jail sentence for a Muslim man accused of storing explosives used in the 2004 Australian embassy bombing in Jakarta which killed 11 people.

Prosecutor Effendi told the state district court in Surabaya, East Java, that defendant Arif Hermansyah, 27, was guilty of assisting an act of terrorism, the state Antara news agency said.

"The defendant has been proven to have intentionally helped a crime of terrorism by hiding information on a terrorism crime," Effendi said.

He said that the defendant had failed to ask about a package that was left with him for safekeeping at his home in Surabaya in mid-2004 by another man, named Untung.

Untung is still on the run.

The package, which was later retrieved by Sonhadi, alias Muhajir, contained explosives that were later used in the embassy suicide van attack.

Sonhadi has been sentenced to four years in jail.

The judges adjourned the court until November 21 when the trial will hear the defence plea.

The embassy blast had been blamed on a group belonging to the Jemaah Islamyah (JI), which has been accused by the Government of being a regional terrorist network.

The leading planners in the bombings were said to be two Malaysians - Azahari Husin and Noordin Top.

Azahari was killed in a police raid in November while Noordin remains on the run.

Both men were avowed top members of the JI which has been blamed by authorities for a series of bombing attacks including the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people and the Jakarta Marriott hotel blast in 2003 which killed 12.

Hermansyah, an employee of a private electricity contractor and also known as Banjar, became a JI branch member in 1997, prosecutors told the court.

Muslim militants could face death penalty for beheadings

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: The Central Jakarta District Court has begun the trial of the three persons suspected of murdering three female high school students in Poso, Central Sulawesi.

The defendants—Lilik Purnomo a.k.a. Haris; Irwanto Irano a.k.a. Iwan and Hasanuddin a.k.a. Hasan—have been charged with committing murder and terrorism.

The trial was divided into two parts.

The first part was for defendant Hasanuddin, the second for Lilik Purnomo and Irwanto Irano.

However, the trial on Lilik and Irwanto has not yet begun because the head of the panel of judges Lilik Mulyadi was absent.

Public prosecutor Payaman said Hasanuddin’s act was included as terrorism.

The reason for this, he said, was that after the slaughter of the three students, Hasanuddin and his associates spread fear among residents of Poso Kota, Central Sulawesi.

He went on to say that the way this was done was by the defendants sending some pieces of the bodies to several residents.

“The defendants’ action calls for the death penalty,” said Payaman after reading the charges at the Central Jakarta District Court, yesterday (8/11).

The murder of three female high school students in Poso, Central Sulawesi, took place on October 29, 2005.

The students of Poso Christian School—Alvita Poliwo, Theresia Morangki and Yarni Sambue—died tragically by being beheaded.

The incident was actually planned to kill four students.

Fortunately, one of the students, Noviana Melewa, managed to escape despite of being injured, having been hit by a perpetrator with a sharp instrument.

Prosecutor Payaman said the court can only prosecute three suspects as the remaining five are still listed as fugitives.

Police to try to prevent Poso suspects from escaping Indonesia

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Police will continue to prevent Poso riot suspects from fleeing to other countries, National Police Chief Gen Sutanto told newsmen after attending the commemoration of National Heroes Day at the Kalibata Heroes Cemetary here on Friday.

"We are ready to cooperate with various countries in our bid to prevent the suspects from fleeing to other countries," he said.

He made the statement in response to the question on whether Indonesian police would cooperate with their counterparts in the Philippines and Malaysia to prevent the Poso riot suspects from fleeing to those countries.

However, Sutanto expressed hope that the suspects would voluntarily surrender to law enforcers rather than being arrested by the police.

"We will continue to hunt them unless they surrender," Sutanto said, adding that the police did not set a deadline for their arrest.

My suggestion to General Sutanto is to let the Christian Brimob from North Sulawesi hunt the fugitives. That way there will be no escapees allowed by sympathetic Muslim police. Fear of being captured by Christian members of Brimob will be enough to have most fugitives surrender.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Chief of Indonesia Police: Arrest the perpetrators of Poso rioting

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: Chief of Indonesian Police General Sutanto has ordered that perpetrators suspected of being the masterminds of the Poso rioting be captured soon.

Responsibility for the arrests has been fully handed over to investigators at the Central Sulawesi Police Department.

“Arrest the perpetrators as soon as possible accordance with the results of the investigation,” said the Chief after attending a coordinating meeting at the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs' office yesterday (11/7).

Sutanto has asked that the hunting and the capture still be in line with laid-down procedures and the Penal Code.

Previously, the police had already issued warnings against 29 persons who are suspected of being involving
in Poso rioting.

Police have claimed that these 29 persons have been handed over to Poso Muslim leaders and gave them a one-week deadline to hand over the suspected perpetrators.

The deadline expired yesterday (11/7).

Nonetheless, up until the final day, Poso's Muslim leader had not yet handed over the 29 persons who are considered as fugitives by the police.

“We are yet to hear any news coming from Poso's Muslim leaders,” said the spokesperson for the Indonesian Police General Anton Bachrul Alam.

Meanwhile, Poso Muslim cleric Adnan Arsal said that his party has not yet decided whether or not to hand over the fugitives to police.

In addition, Adnan is still in Jakarta and will only return to Poso tomorrow (11/9).

“Give us, Muslims in Poso, a chance to discuss this,” said Adnan.

Arrest Adnan Arsal for aiding and a betting fugitives and any other Muslim militant leaders not co-operating with police. The Muslim community want these men gone, along with the fugitives. It's funny because Adnan thinks he speaks for all Muslims in Poso when he speaks for less than 1%. Local Muslims just want things to get back the way it was before the whole conflict started and want to be left alone by militants like Adnan who keep dragging locals into his personal war against Christians.

Poso group leader Hasanuddin goes on trial for beheadings

JAKARTA (AP): A man went on trial Wednesday on charges of beheading three Christian girls as they walked to school in the Central Sulawesi's town of Poso.

Prosecutors alleged that Hasanuddin wanted to avenge the deaths of Muslims by Christian mobs during sectarian fighting between 1999 and 2002 and left a handwritten note with the girls' heads vowing more attacks.

"We still need another 100 heads," said the note, according to the indictment read out by prosecutor Payaman. "Blood must be avenged by blood."

The attackers beheaded the three girls in October 2005 as they walked to school along an isolated jungle track leading to the town of Poso in central Sulawesi. Another girl was slashed in the head, but managed to escape.

Trials of two other suspects due to stand trial Wednesday at the Central Jakarta District Court were delayed until next week. The three men are charged under Indonesia's anti-terrorism law and could be sentenced to death if found guilty.

Prosecutors said that Hasanuddin was the ringleader of the attack and was present during it, but did not wield a machete himself. Prosecutors allege that he gave money to the other attackers to buy machetes and plastic bags to put the girls heads in. The heads were dumped close to a church and police station in the seaside town.

Hasanuddin did not speak except to say he intended to deliver a defense against the charges.

Large scale clashes between the two faiths ended in 2002 with a peace agreement, but sporadic attacks have continued.

At least 1,000 people from both faiths died during the fighting. Tensions flared anew last month after the execution of three Roman Catholic militants convicted of leading a 2000 attack on an Islamic school that killed at least 70 people.

Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim nation, with 90 percent of its 220 million people professing the faith. But Central Sulawesi has a roughly equal number of Muslim and Christians.

Trials of three men accused of beheading Poso school girls begin

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The trials begin today of three Muslim men accused of grusomely beheading three young Christian girls in the divided district of Poso and facing possible execution if convicted under anti-terrorism laws.

The trials of the three -- Hasanuddin, Lilik Purnomo and Irwanto Irano -- will open later Wednesday at the Central Jakarta District Court.

Prosecutors have said the trials were bring held in Jakarta, not in Central Sulawesi, because of "security considerations".

The three defendants have been detained in Jakarta for several months already. Hasanuddin would be tried separately, while the two others would sit together on the defendant's bench at the same court.

An official of the Attorney General's office said last week the three would be charged under anti-terrorism laws for engaging in "an act of terrorism by using force that caused the loss of lives" in the October 2005 killings.

The girls were walking home when they were beheaded by machete in Poso's Gebang Rejo area on October 29, 2005. Two of their heads were found near a police post and the third was discovered outside a Christian church.

The incident sparked public indignation in Indonesia and overseas.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono condemned the killings and Pope Benedict XVI
deplored what he described as "barbaric murder".

Poso and its surrounding district has been the scene of sporadic unrest since violence between Muslims and Christians claimed about 1,000 lives in 2000-2001.

Muslims and Christians live in roughly equal numbers in Poso. But Muslims have accused the police, especially its paramilitary unit Brimob, of favouring Christians.

Militants, who rioted against and are hiding the other suspects from the police, "have accused Brimob of favoring Christians". Let's get that clear please!!

Monday, November 06, 2006

BIN Cheif says police should arrest Poso perpetrators

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The police should have the courage to arrest the suspected perpetrators of the recent acts of terror in the Central Sulawesi town of Poso if persuasive efforts fail to make them surrender, State Intelligence Agency (BIN) Chief Syamsir Siregar said here on Monday.

"If persuasive efforts to make them surrender are unsuccessful, the police should have the courage to take action," Syamsir told newsmen at the presidential office before attending a plenary cabinet session.

The BIN chief made the statement when asked why a certain religious forum in Poso which was believed to know the whereabouts of the suspects had yet to hand them to the police.

Asked if the government had to set a deadline (for the suspects to give themselves up), Syamsir declined to comment.

Meanwhile, Kompas daily reported on Monday police would act and arrest some 29 fugitive Poso terror perpetrators if the chairman of the Poso Muslim Struggle Forum, Adnan Arsal, failed to hand them to the police by Tuesday.

Nahdlatul Ulama (PBNU) chairman Hasyim Muzadi said the Poso problem could only be solved if all elements involved in the recent acts of terror or in inciting the unrest, regardless of whether they belonged to the Moslem, Protestant or Catholic communities, should be expelled from the region.

About how this could be accomplished, Hasyim said he was sure the government knew the methods that should be applied in the case.

Adnan Arsal should be thrown in jail for harboring fugitives from justice and I'm sure if the police looked hard enough they would evidence that shows he is involved in the terror caused in Central Sulawesi. The police should not be listening to Arsal or taking his word for any deal. He's trying to make himself look like a good guy when he is actually involved with these terrorists. His nephew is a leader of one of the terror groups.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

NU wants Poso secure before key meeting

Frans Seda and Abu Bakr Ba'asyir in Yogya

(Jakarta Post) Hasyim Muzadi, chairman of the country's largest Muslim organization Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), called on the authorities to expel newcomers believed to be instigating fresh violence in Poso, Central Sulawesi, ahead of a planned reconciliation meeting among the people.

Hasyim presented his proposal during a meeting Saturday with Vice President Jusuf Kalla at the latter's residence in Central Jakarta.

"It turns out that those who instigated violence (in Poso) were people coming from other areas. Those who are proven (to be involved in violence) must be relocated; don't consider their religion," Hasyim said.

Finally, someone is listening to what I've been screaming about since Rev. Irianto's assassination and doing something about it. The Muslim militants from outside must be expelled and measures taken to prevent others from coming.

He explained that Muslim and Christian leaders in Poso were expected to meet early in December to discuss ways to end the prolonged bloody conflict.

"Before that (meeting), the security situation must be strengthened," he was quoted by detik.com news portal as saying.

After some time of peace, a new series of murders and violence hit Poso following the Sept. 22 execution of three Christians charged with masterminding a massacre in a Muslim village in 2000.

The day after the execution, two Muslims were kidnapped and murdered. Then, a Christian minister was shot dead while he was shopping with his wife in Palu on Oct. 16. And on Oct. 22, police shot and killed a Muslim man and a toddler during crossfire in a raid on a suspected terrorist hideout.

Where is the mention of 300 armed militants attacking police and the police killing the man while shooting back in self-protection? The two Muslim men weren't kidnapped but ran a roadblock, endangering those at the roadblock and an angry crowd reacted by killing the two men.

Police have arrested more than a dozen Muslims belonging to militant groups in the region suspected of instigating violence, and are still hunting down a number of others.

Muslims are dissatisfied with the police and have demanded that they be withdrawn from Poso. The government responded by sending in troops to reinforce security.

The Muslims that are dissatisfied are local militants from Poso Islamic Struggled Brotherhood Forum and Islamic Defenders Front. These men do not represent local Muslim population in general. Extra security is needed to contain these militants.

Meanwhile in Yogyakarta, Catholic and Buddhist leaders met with leaders of Islamic hard-line group Indonesian Mujahidin Council (MMI) to discuss efforts to prevent further conflicts among different faiths, including those in Poso.

Attending the meeting were Catholic figure and former finance minister Frans Seda, Catholic intellectual Chris Siner Key Timu and Buddhist leader Hartono Yusuf.

MMI leaders at the meeting included Abu Bakar Ba'asyir, who was jailed for his role in the 2002 Bali bombings, chairman Irfan S Awas, secretary-general Sobbarin Syakur and spokesman Fauzan al Anshari.

The meeting produced a joint communique, with each party committing to maintaining peace and security, upholding truth and justice and pursuing prosperity for the people.

"We also agree that the differences among us will not be exploited and manipulated by provocateurs who pit followers of different religions against one another for their own political gains," Fuazan said.

Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Frans Seda said that the meeting aimed to reduce conflicts between religious groups, including those in Poso.

"We also discussed the Muslims' aspiration to adopt sharia. Pak Ba'asyir said that Muslims would not force their will against non-Muslims with regards to sharia," Seda said.

Funny, Ba'asyir also said that formalization of Shariah law was needed inside the country's organization to help the struggle of the people of Islam. Saying that Muslims would not force their will against non-Muslims is a lie. Shariah law requires dhimmitude or infidel subservience to Islam. Equal rights are denied and right to worship and practice one's religion becomes severely restricted to the point of outlawing religious material outside of Islam (i.e. no bibles allowed in Saudi Arabia). Luckily, the majority of Muslims are more liberal in thinking and do not want the restrective Shariah law imposed which would outlaw their system of Islamic belief. Most Muslims in Indonesia are seen as heretics by Muslims in the Middle East because of the incorporation of mysticism and spiritualism in Indonesian Islam. Only a small percentage of Muslims in Indonesia follow strict Wahabist and similar forms of Islam.

It is not clear, however, why Seda and other Catholic and Buddhist leaders sought a meeting with Ba'asyir and MMI leaders.

During the meeting MMI leaders also expressed their opposition to the planned visit of U.S. President George W. Bush to Indonesia next month.

Bush is scheduled to visit Indonesia after attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Vietnam on Nov. 18. This will be his second trip to Indonesia after he met President Megawati Soekarnoputri and Muslim leaders in Bali in 2003.

In Jakarta, a group of Muslims hard-liners, led by Hizbut Tahrir and the Islam Defenders Front (FPI), staged a protest outside the U.S. Embassy to protest the visit. The rally ended peacefully.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Tibo family to take execution case to International Court

Kupang, E Nusatenggara (ANTARA News) - Relatives of Fabianus Tibo who had been executed early on Friday, Sept. 22, 2006, for his part in the atrocities in the sectarian conflict in Poso, Central Slawesi a few years ago, would bring the case to the International Court of Justice.

Tibo`s family members decided to sue the Indonesian government for the execution of Tibo and friends, spokesman for Tibo`s family, Yustinus Sani, said here Friday.

The decision was made after Tibo`s family peformed a traditional ritual to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Tibo`s execution in Ende district, East Nusa Tenggara province, on Wednesday (Nov 1) and Thursday (Nov 2), Yustinus said.

For the purpose, Tibo`s family had entrusted PADMA Indonesia with the task of collecting evidence and conducting an autopsy of Tibo`s dead body before filing the lawsuit against the Indonesian government to the International Court of Justice.

PADMA Indonesia is a non-governmental organization providing legal aid to Tibo and the two other dead-row convicts -- Marianus Riwu and Dominggus da Silva.

Tibo`s family decided to take the measure as they considered that the executor had violated the method of execution as stipulated in Law No.2/1964, he said, adding that five gunshot wounds and other injuries on the victim`s body could prove the violation.

On the families of Marinus Riwu and Dominggus da Silva, he said Tibo`s family did not force them to join the action but if they wanted to, they should immediately file the lawsuit to the International Court of Justice.

Yustinus said Tibo`s family has fully entrusted PADMA Indonesia with coordination with the two other families.

The struggle of Tibo`s family was expected to bring about justice to all people who loved justice and truth in the country, he said.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Three members of Poso Mujahidin formally charged with beheadings

Three men have been charged under Indonesia's terrorism laws for involvement in the gruesome beheadings of three young Christian high school girls in Poso. The three were this week charged with involvement in "an act of terrorism by using force that caused the loss of lives" in the October 29, 2005 killings, an official with the Attorney-General's office said.

Dossiers on the three men, Hasanuddin aka Hasan, Lilik Purnomo aka Haris, and Irwanto Irano, were submitted to the central Jakarta district court on Monday in preparation for a trial and the defendants were then charged, the official said. Achmad Michdan, a lawyer for the three men, confirmed that his clients would soon be brought to trial. The court will have to form a panel of judges before issuing a date for the trial. All three could face the death penalty for their horrific crimes. All three have previously admitted to the beheadings.

Three men belong to the Tanah Runtuh group of the Poso Mujahidin Association headed by Hasanuddin. Hasanuddin's group has ties to the Jemaah Islamiyah terrorist Bali bombers and many of the group attended terrorist training camps. Hasanuddin's uncle, Adnan Arsal has been a particularly vocal critic of the elite security force Brimob's presence in Poso and has lead protests asking for their removal. Adnan's pesantren (Islamic boarding school) and his group Poso Islamic Struggle Brotherhood Forum are also linked with paramilitary militants such as the Islamic Defenders Front.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Police names 15 terrorists involved in attacks in Poso

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – In a unusual move, Indonesian police released the names of 15 terrorists accused of violence and attacks in Poso and Palu, Central Sulawesi province, national police spokesman Brigadier General Anton Bachrul Alam announced tonight.

Two groups, referred to as Tanah Runtuh and Kompak Kayamanya, are said to have been behind the spate of violence in Poso and Palu between 2001 and 2006, and are considered very dangerous and well armed, capable of using bombs, guns and other weapons

Tanah Runtuh is so named after a village near Poso. Its members include Hasanuddin, Harris, Irwanto Irano, Yusuf Asapa, Rahmat Jindra, Sudirman alias Ako, and Poniran alias Ipong.

Hasanuddin masterminded some of the bloodiest crimes in the area like the murder of three Christian female students in October 2005; the murder/mutilation of Rev Susianti Tinulele, a Protestant clergywoman; the murder of John Pajoya, a member of the Central Sulawesi Synod of Churches; and the bomb attack against Palu’s Emmanuel Church in 2004.

Hasanuddin’s uncle, Adnan Arsal, heads Gebang Rejo, a Muslim village where clashes between police and locals last October 22 left one person dead, setting off a wave of protests.

Hasanuddin himself is currently detained in a maximum security facility in Jakarta.

Kompak Kayamanya gets also its name from a village near Poso and includes people like Farid Ma`ruf, Fadli Barasalim alias Apo, Jusman Saehed, Iswadi Ma`ruf, Rusli Tawil alias Uci, Ifet, Sakur and Yusman Said.

It is blamed for hold-ups that netted this year millions of rupiahs from a local cocoa plantation and local government office.

The unusual move to release the names of terrorists involved in violence in Poso and Palu follows and announcement by national police Chief Sutanto that the capture of terrorists was made possible by the assistance of Poso Muslim religious leaders, including possibly Hasanuddin’s uncle Arsal.

The 15 terrorists are now in police custody but nothing more is known. According to Alam, the police is now after another 29 suspected terrorists.

Eight Brimob personnel scrutinized in Poso case

TEMPO Interactive, Palu: Eight Mobile Brigade (Brimob) personnel who were sent from Jakarta have been scrutinized by the Directorate of Professionalism and Security at the National Police (Polri) Headquarters regarding the Poso riot.

Two were questioned on Monday (30/10) and the other six, yesterday (31/10). The investigation that took place at the Poso Subregional Police was directly led by the Professional and Security Directorate Head at Polri HQ, Brig. Gen. Abdurrahman.

According to Central Sulawesi Regional Police spokesperson Chief Commissioner Muhammad Kilat, they were investigated as witnesses in the case of the shooting at Syarifuddin, a Poso resident, on Sunday night two weeks ago. They were considered as having knowledge about the shooting between Tanaruntu residents and the police. “It hasn’t been confirmed whether they will be suspects or not. The evidence of the bullet that hit the victim is being examined by the Forensic Laboratory at Polri HQ,” he said yesterday (31/10).

According to Kilat, in addition to the eight Brimob personnel, there are still seven personnel from the Poso Subregional Police to be investigated. From the result of the initial investigation, Kilat said it was the police that were was attacked first. “The pressure made them retaliate firing,” he said. Last Monday, when several residents escorted Syarifuddin’s body, there was another clash.

A three year old boy and a six month old child as well as a resident named Mislan Kader were wounded by police bullets. Mislan said that when the crowd passed Pulau Seram Street, Poso, right in front of the Brimob housing unit, suddenly the police started firing. Hundreds of people in the crowds scattered instantly. Yesterday Mislan complained about the matter to the Human Rights National Commission for Poso.
He was reluctant to report it to the police because he said that he was often terrorized by a police member. Dedi Askari, Head of Human Rights National Commission for Central Sulawesi, demanded that the government and the police follow up on the incident as soon as possible. “Or else, we’ll file a report to the International Human Rights Commission,” he said.

Kilat confirmed that the police fired weapons when the people were escorting Syarifuddin’s body. However, according to him the shooting was because the residents attacked and mocked the police.

15 Muslim suspects in total arrested for terror in Poso and Palu

Fifteen Muslim men in total have been arrested in connection with the recent and previous terror attacks in the Poso and Palu area of Central Sulawesi. These attacks date back to 2001. Most of these arrests have already taken place but police are making a public announcement now.

Brigadier General Pol Anton Bachrul Alam, of Mapolres Poso, said on Tuesday night that two groups, Tanah Runtuh in Kelurahan Gebang Rejo and Kompak in Kayamanya sector in Poso were responsible for hiding terror suspects. Tanah Runtuh is where Brimob were attacked by a mob of 300 militants with guns, molotov cocktails, rocks and fire-bombs when Brimob tried to conduct searches for weapon caches and terrorists. In Tanah Runtu, seven suspects were arrested. Their names are Poniren alias Ipong, Yusuf Asapa, Hasanuddin, Haris, Irwanto Irawan, Rahmat and Sudirman. Most of the suspects named have been previously captured between December 2005 and June 2006. Yusuf Asapa, Haris and Rahmat in Tolitoli, Ipong and Sudirman in Poso, and Hasanuddin in Palu. In Kompak Kayamanya, suspects Fadly Barsalin, Yusman Saidi, Syakur, Farid, Yusman Sahed, Iswandi Ma`ruf, Rusli Tawil and Ifek were arrested. Police are still looking for 29 more suspects in the Central Sulawesi area.

Bachrul Alam said the suspects captured were involved in many cases like the murder of journalist I Wayan Suryasa of the Poso Post (2001), the bomb used to kill Pastor John Padjoja (2001), the beheading of Kades Pinedapa (2003), the bomb in front of Poso Central Market that killed 4 people (2004), the assassinations of Jaksa Fery Silalahi and Pastor Susianti Tinulele di Palu (2004), the robbery of Pemda Poso for US$44,000 (2004), the bombing of the Tentena Market killing 22 people (2005), the beheading of three high school students in Poso (2005), and the bombings of churches in Palu and Poso.

During the raid in Kayamanya, police recovered weaponry like M-16, revolvers, Uzi, FN and ammunition, and bomb making materials.

It's very obvious now as to why the mob of 300 Muslims attacked police in Tanah Runtu. They were hiding terror suspects and maybe still hiding more. Militant group leaders, Adnan Arsal of the Poso Islamic Struggle Brotherhood Forum and Sugiyanto Kaimudin of the Islamic Defenders Front should have to explain themselves as to why they called for protests and the removal of the police, and tried to block the capture of terror suspects and weapon caches. We're waiting for that explanation.
What's also interesting is Hasanuddin, who is the leader of the Poso Mujahidin group and responsible for the beheadings of the three high school girls, is the nephew of Adnan Arsal.