Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Poso militants trained in Afghanistan and Southern Philippines

JAKARTA (JP): Police said Tuesday that the detained militants in Poso, Central Sulawesi had experienced military training in South Philippines and Afghanistan.

El Shinta radio station quoted a senior police officer that the detainees were able to shoot targets and organize their group very well.

The officer said they would be charged under, among other things, Law on Terrorism.

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Police hunt for militants

POSO, Central Sulawesi (AP): Police searched jungles on Tuesday in their hunt for suspected Islamic militants blamed for a string of attacks on Christians, a day after 13 alleged terrorists and one officer were killed in a gun battle with security forces on Sulawesi Island.

The raid on the conflict-ridden Indonesian Island was a sharp escalation in the fight against terrorists in the world's most populous Muslim nation. Police said they only shot the men after coming under attack.

Central Sulawesi Police chief Brig. Gen. Badrodin Haiti said he believed more than 50 other militants had escaped Monday's raid in the seaside town of Poso and had fled to nearby hills and jungles.

"They are dangerous because they still have automatic weapons and ammunition," he told The Associated Press. "We are searching for them."

Most of Indonesia's 190 million Muslims practice a moderate form of the faith, but terrorists have gained a foothold in recent years, carrying out a string of deadly terrorist attacks that have left scores dead.

Many have set up base on Sulawesi Island, the scene of bloody fighting between Muslim and Christian gangs six years ago that left at least 1,000 people from both faiths dead. Islamic extremists have been blamed for sporadic bombings, shootings and other attacks since then.

Security forces have carried out several operations on Sulawesi against Muslim militants they had publicly accused of being behind the attacks. Senior officers made public calls for the men to turn themselves in and met with local hard-line Muslim leaders to try and enlist their help, but had no success.

What a surprise!! No success. These Muslim leaders from Islamic Defenders Front and Poso Islamic Brotherhood Forum should be jailed for aiding and abetting, obstructing justice and harboring fugitives.

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Latest news from Police vs. Muslim Militant battles in Poso

Ten people including a police officer were killed in a gunfight between police and a group of armed civilians in Poso town in Central Sulawesi on Monday, police said.

"One of the fatalities is a member of the police`s Anti-terror Special Unit 88, Brigadier 2nd Class Rony Iskandar, while the nine others are civilians," Central Sulawesi Police Chief Brigadier General Badrodin Haiti told newsmen.

Haiti said the nine civilians killed in the incident were categorized as members of an armed group because when their bodies were evacuated they proved to have carried self-made firearms, ammunition and even explosives.

"Most of the dead civilian are on the police`s list of wanted persons," he said.

Haiti said he could not yet give the names of the dead civilians as they were still undergoing a full identification process.

"Their bodies have been moved from the Poso police headquarters to Poso`s general hospital," he said.

He said the body of Brigadier 2nd Class Rony Iskandar had meanwhile been flown to the provincial capital of Palu for an autopsy at the Bhayangkara police hospital along with three other police officers who were injured in the incident, namely Inspector 2nd Class Musliha, Brigadier 2nd Class I Wayan Panda and Brigadier 2nd Class Wahid.

Haiti said two civilians were also injured by stray bullets in the incident, namely Paijo (40) and Kusno (35) who were now being treated in Poso`s general hospital.

Meanwhle, Adjunct Senior Commisioner Muhammad Kilar, a Central Sulawesi police spokesman, said police had also arrested 19 men wanted by the police (for their alleged role in past acts of vilence in Poso) in an operation that had been going on since Monday morning.

"So, in all, 28 people (wanted for acts of violence) have been captured, including those killed," he said. The living prisoners had already been sent to the resort police station in Palu for interrogation.

He said during the sweeping operation, the police also confiscated many objects proving the arrrested men`s involvement in violence including tens of home-made bombs, 170 detonators, tens of firearms and thousands of active rounds of ammunition.

"All the evidence is being kept at the regional police station for use in interrogation," he said.

Kilar said Monday morning`s gunfight happened after a group of armed civilians attacked a joint police patrol unit with gun fire and bombs in Poso.

On Jan. 11, police in Poso killed a man they said was a senior member of the al-Qaida-linked regional terror group Jemaah Islamiyah, which was blamed for the 2002 Bali bombings and other deadly attacks in Indonesia in recent years.

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Another bomb in Poso

Palu, Central Sulawesi (ANTARA News) - A low-explosive bomb went off in Central Sulawesi`s restive town of Poso on Thursday morning but nobody was injured in the blast.

The bomb exploded at 09.20 a.m. at the gutter on the back of the Bank Sulteng`s branch or around 100 meters from the Poso police resort and the Poso market on Jl. Pulau Sumatra, a source told ANTARA News on Thursday.

The blast caused a panic among traders and visitors at the market.

A bomb defusing squad was sent to the scene to look into the blast.

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Shoot on sight orders stand in Poso

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - In the face of the chaotic situation in the restive town of Poso, Central Sulawesi, there was no better choice for the security agencies, the police in particular, but to take repressive measures, including an order to shoot anybody carrying fire arms without proper authorization on sight, a political observer said.

"Of course, they (security agencies) should act with due consideration of objective conditions in the field so that no victims will fall among people not involved in terrorism," Audy Wuisang, political observer at the University of Indonesia, said here Thursday.

"The shoot-on-sight order is appropriate but the objective situation in the field should also be considered to avoid innocent fatalities, especially among those who are not involved in any terror acts," Wusiang said.

So the Poso police`s policy to shoot on sight any rioter or any body found to be in illegal possession of weapons is right and appropriate, Wuisang said.

"In a restive situation, the authority of security officials should be enforced, and thus the police have the power to shoot on sight," he said.

Audy Wuisang said the real problem in Poso was that security personnel continued to be the target of civilian gunmen.

The shoot-on-sight order was issued by Central Sulawesi police chief Brig Gen Radrotin Haiti in an effort to overcome unrest following the killing of two suspected militants in a police raid recently.

Badrotin announced anyone unlawfully owning, keeping or using fire arms would be shot on sight.

On a separate occasion, a member of the House of Representatives (DPR) Commission I from the National Mandate Party (PAN) faction, Dedy Jamaluddin Malik, said security personnel were supposed to act in accordance with legal procedure and not violate human right values.

"A brutal action by the police will only prompt protracted hatred and animosity between them and the people," Dedy Jamaluddin said, adding that it could also be a boomerang to security personnel.

Sporadic acts of violence including bombings have continued to occur in Poso and environs since the formal end of a protracted sectarian conflict which ravaged the region in 2000-2001 killing and displacing thousands of people.

Dedy Jamaluddin Malik of hardline Islamic and terrorist supporting PAN party? Yes, protect the militants because they're Muslims and Islamic militants just like you, right Dedy?

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Militant says beheadings were for revenge

JAKARTA (AP): A militant who confessed to taking part in the beheadings of three girls on an Indonesian island wracked by religious violence said Wednesday he was motivated by a bloody attack on an Islamic boarding school.

Irwanto Irano - one of three men being tried for the Oct. 29, 2005 beheadings in the Sulawesi town of Poso - told the Central Jakarta District Court he surveyed the area four times before the slayings and reported the girls' habits to the ringleader.

"I was able to take part (in the massacre) because I remembered the uncivilized way in which (Christians) had acted," Irano told judges, pointing to the 2000 machete and gun attack on an Islamic boarding school that left at least 70 people dead.

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

It was the scene of fierce gunbattles from 1998 to 2002 that left at least 1,000 people from both faiths dead. A peace agreement ended the worst of the violence, but tensions have flared anew in recent years, culminating in the 2005 beheadings of the three Christian girls and the wounding of a fourth.

Irano admitted to taking part in the attack, but said he did not behead anyone himself.

"I just cut into one of the girl's calves, and the others beheaded her," he told the court.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Poso police to shoot on sight during unrest

Palu, Indonesia (ANTARA News) - Police in the restive Indonesian town of Poso said Tuesday they will shoot on sight anyone carrying weapons, following unrest which erupted after two suspected militants were killed in a police raid.

An angry mob of mourners killed a policeman on Thursday when he inadvertently passed the funeral of a Muslim preacher shot in the raid, which took place earlier that day.

The preacher was a member of the Jemaah Islamiyah regional terrorist group blamed for the 2002 Bali bombings and other attacks, the police was quoted by AFP as saying.

Police fired warning shots on Monday when they were attacked by an angry mob, and later that night shots and explosions were reported in the area.

"Following the restive situation in Poso, we announce that anyone owning, keeping or using arms will be shot on sight," local police chief Brigadier General Badrotin Haiti told reporters in Palu before leaving for Poso, 110 kilometres (70 miles) to the southeast.

National police spokesman Sisno Adiwinoto, however, said there were no orders to shoot on sight, adding the situation in Poso was now relatively calm.

"There are several dangerous spots, but businesses are running normally. Schools, traffic, all is normal," he told reporters in Jakarta.

He said police had so far arrested or killed 10 people on a wanted list of 29 suspected of involvement in a series of anti-Christian attacks in religiously-divided Poso district.

Police were hunting for the other 19, he said, adding that more names might be added to the list.

Police had said the 29 were believed to belong to two groups which have been accused of involvement in several violent incidents in Poso since 2001, including the 2005 beheadings of three Christian schoolgirls, inciting mob violence and several bombings of markets and churches.

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Afghani trained Ryan ordered Poso bombings

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Ryan who was shot dead as police were trying to catch five people put in the wanted list in connection with last week`s bomb blasts in the Central Sulawesi town of Poso ordered the making of bombs, a police spokesman said.

"Based on information from the arrested suspects, Ryan has ordered the making of bombs that were exploded in Poso," deputy chief of public relations division at the National Police Headquarters Brig. Gen. Anton Bachrul Alam said on Monday.

He said the explosives used for making the bombs were brought from Semarang, Central Java, by sea.

"Ryan always made contact with Abu Dujana in Central Java who is now controlling JI (Jamaah Islamiyah)," he added.

Previously, the police task force arrested five of 24 people put in the wanted list in connection with the Poso violence on Jl. Pulau Jawa II in the Gebang Rejo village, Poso Kota sub district, last Thursday.

The five were identified as Dedi Parsan, Anang Muftadin, Paiman, Upik and Abdul Muis. Dedi was shot dead, while the other were injured.

Meanwhile, two other persons identified as Ryan and Ibnu who tried to prevent the police from arresting the suspects were shot in the incident. Ryan was killed, while Ibnu sustained gunshot wounds in the stomach.

The two were believed to have pelted police with four locally-assembled bombs but none of them reached the target. They also fired on the police.

Anton said Ryan whose real name was Santoso used to take part in a military training in Afghanistan using another name, Abdul Hakim.

Ryan also played a role as the organizer of meetings held in Magetan, East Java, on October 18, 2002 and in Cisarua, West Java, on April 5, 2003, he added.

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Friday, January 12, 2007

Police kill two militants in raid

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Two people were killed and seven arrested alive when Police raided a place believed to be the hiding place of people suspected of involvement in the Poso riots, National Police Chief Gen Sutanto said on Thursday.

"They refused to surrender and thus legal action ahd to be taken," he told the press after an impromptu meeting with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

After the raid, police seized 18 firearms, five of which were police and Indonesian military standard weapons including revolvers and an M16 rifle.

Sutanto said poice also seized seven hand-made bombs.

UPDATE: Vice President Jusuf Kalla on Friday expressed his concern over the clashes between police and militants in Poso of Indonesia's Central Sulawesi province on Thursday, which killed two militants and one policeman.

"We are greatly concerned about the fatality from both sides," said Vice President Kalla.

The police shot dead two militants in raids on houses which were suspected of hiding place for the militants, who were allegedly involved in the sectarian strife between Muslims and Christians that erupted from 1999 to 2000.

After the burial of the militants, the mob attacked one police officer to dead, said the provincial police spokesman Muhammad Kilat.

The militants were part of dozens most wanted Muslims militants suspected of implicating in the sectarian clashes, said Poso police chief Rudi Suparyadi.

The sectarian conflict has left thousands of people dead, Suparyadi has said.

The vice president said the government has committed to settling the sectarian conflict in Poso by imposing firms rules.

"One of (the rules) is all the fugitive suspects must surrender, " he said.

The vice president is one of the mediators of the peace accord between the Christians and Muslims in the province in 2001.

The tense of security mounted last year after the killing of a Catholic priest in Palu, the capital of the province, and incident between police and Muslim communities in October, 2006.

In September last year, Indonesia executed three Christians for conviction of triggering mob into a sectarian violence in 2000 in Poso.

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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Terrorist's wife released from jail and free to hide him again

Munfiatun, wife of Noordin M. Top, the most wanted man in SE Asia for masterminding the Bali bombings along with countless other bombings in Indonesia, has been released from the Sukun women's prison in Malang, East Java. She was released 9 months early from her 3 year sentence for good behavior.

Story here from the Jakarta Post.

JAKARTA (AP): The wife of one of Southeast Asia's most wanted terror suspects left prison Monday after serving 27 months in jail for helping hide her still-at-large husband, an official said.

Munfiatun, 30, was convicted of sheltering Noordin Top, a Malaysian accused of being a key leader of Jemaah Islamiyah, a regional terror network blamed for a string of suicide bombings in Indonesia, the most deadly being 2002 nightclub bombings on Bali island that killed 202 people.

Munfiatun told the warden of Malang women's prison on Indonesia's main island of Java that she would return to her hometown, also on Java.

"I have heard that my neighbors there are not concerned that I am the wife of a terrorist," she told the warden in front of journalists.

She served nine months short of her 3-year term because of time off for good behavior.

She was picked up at the jail by her mother and extended family members.

I guess this means she is free to hide her husband again. She should have received a heavier sentence but hey, she's a Muslim and it's Indonesia and we have seen that Indonesia is soft on local Muslim terrorists and their collaborators. Bali bombers Amrozi, Ali Gufron and Samudra have still not been executed, pending their appeal to overturn their convictions under the recent Terrorism Law (their lawyers are appealing that the law is not retroactive and cannot be applied to their clients). The bombers would have to be re-tried and may escape the death penalty. Seeing Indonesia's poor performance in instituting new legislation of any kind, one feels that the bombers have an excellent chance of winning their appeal as the Supreme Court has demonstrated that it likes throwing out new legislation, deeming it unconstitutional or weakly worded by lawmakers. This has prevented anti-graft legislation from taking effect and cleaning up rampant corruption in Indonesia.

Indonesia has also recently demonstrated that even convicted terrorists can be exonerated from their crimes. Indonesia Supreme Court recently overturned the conviction of Jemaah Islamiyah's spiritual leader and Islamic terrorist, Cleric Abu Bakr Ba'asyir. This means that while the world still recognizes him for what he is (a hardline Islamic terrorist, teacher of militant/terrorists and inspiration to militants/terrorists in Indonesia and throughout SE Asia), Indonesia recognizes Ba'asyir as innocent of involvement.

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