Terrorism in Indonesia
Terrorism in Indonesia refer to acts of terrorism that take place within Indonesia or attacks on Indonesian people or interests abroad. These acts of terrorism often target the government of the Republic of Indonesia or foreigners in Indonesia, most notably Western visitors, especially those from the United States and Australia.
Traditionally the militias that politically opposed to Indonesian government interest were held responsible for series of terrorism attack in Indonesia. Separatist movements operating in Indonesia, such as the Darul Islam (Indonesia), Fretilin (East Timorese independence militia during Indonesian occupation of East Timor), Gerakan Aceh Merdeka, and Organisasi Papua Merdeka are often held responsible on terrorist attacks, such as bombings and shootings, in Indonesia. Recent terrorism in Indonesia can in part be attributed to the al-Qaeda-affiliated Jemaah Islamiyah Islamist terror group.
Since 2003, a number of 'western targets' have been attacked. Victims have included both foreign—mainly Western tourists—as well as Indonesian civilians. Terrorism in Indonesia intensified in 2000 with the Jakarta Stock Exchange bombing, followed by four more large attacks. The deadliest killed 202 people (including 164 international tourists) in the Bali resort town of Kuta in 2002. The attacks, and subsequent travel warnings issued by other countries, severely damaged Indonesia's tourism industry and foreign investment prospects. However, after the capture and killing of most of its key members and leaders, most notably Imam Samudra, Amrozi, Abu Dujana, Azahari Husin, and the latest one, Noordin Top, the terrorist cells in Indonesia are more and more insignificant.
Since 2011, the terrorist attack seems to be shifted, from targeting foreign Western interest and residents to attacking Indonesian police officers. Indonesian Police has been successfully cracking down terrorist cells in Indonesia, and as retaliation a new terrorist cell, identified as "Cirebon Cell" began targeting police officers. On 15 April 2011 a suicide bomber detonated an explosive device in a mosque in a police compound in the city of Cirebon, in West Java, during Friday prayer. The bomber was killed and at least 28 people were injured. The same cell also suspected to be involved in two more attacks in Solo, a church suicide bomb on 25 September 2011, and shooting targeting police on 17 August 2012. However these attacks were not as well-prepared and high scaled as previous attacks organized by terrorist group JI.
Although the terrorist attacks seems to be reduced in both amount and scale, some terrorist hotspots such as Poso, Central Sulawesi, remains as terrorist battleground. Poso was previously marred by religious violences between Muslims and Christian in the area. On 16 October 2012, Police discovered two corpses of murdered police that has been missing since three days earlier in Tamanjeka village, Poso Regency, Central Sulawesi. The victims were missing during investigation mission on suspected terorist's training ground in a forest at Poso Regency.
Similar attacks targeting Indonesian authorities, especially police officers, were also occurred in Papua, however these ones are not linked with Islamist terrorist cells, but with Papuan separatist movement instead. On 8 April 2012, Trigana Air PK-YRF airplane were shot by unidentified gunmen during landing approach on Mulia airstrip, Puncak Jaya, Papua on 08.21 AM. A Papua Pos journalist, Kogoya (35), were killed in this shooting. On 27 November 2012, three policemen stationed in remote Pirime police post, Jayawijaya, Papua, were killed in an attack by a group of unidentified men. Police suspected the Papua separatist movement were behind the attack.
Political and community responses
Conspiracy theories similar to those around the September 11 attacks appeared in the Indonesian media blaming the Bali bombings on a Western-Jewish-Chinese-Masonic plot to discredit Islam. Used to a culture of rumour and violence under the "New Order", many Indonesians considered such theories credible. Subsequent bombings in the centre of Jakarta, in which all but one victim were ordinary Indonesians, shocked the public and brought swift responses from the Indonesian security forces. Even the most reluctant politicians had to admit that the evidence was against a small group of Islamist agitators. The Jakarta bombings and legal prosecutions helped shift public opinion away from the use of extremist Islamic political violence, but also increased the influence of intelligence bodies, the police and military whose strength had diminished since 1998.
Political factors clouded Indonesian responses to the "War on Terror"; politicians were at pains not to be seen to be bowing to US and Australian opinion, and the term "Jemaah Islamiyah" is controversial in Indonesia as it means "Islamic community/congregation", and was also the subject of previous "New Order" manipulation of the term.
The attacks, and subsequent travel warnings issued by other countries including the United States and Australia, severely damaged Indonesia's tourism industry and foreign investment prospects. Bali's economy was particularly hard hit, as were tourism based businesses in other parts of Indonesia. In May 2008, the United States government decided to lift its warning. In 2006, 227,000 Australians visited Indonesia and in 2007 this rose to 314,000.
Detachment 88 is the Indonesian counter-terrorism squad, and part of the Indonesian National Police. Formed after the 2002 Bali bombing, the unit has had considerable success against the jihadi terrorist cells linked to Central Java-based Islamist movement Jemaah Islamiah.
Within the next three months after the 2002 Bali bombing, various militants, including the attack's mastermind Imam Samudra, the notorious 'smiling-bomber' Amrozi, and many others were apprehended. Samudra, Amrozi, and Amrozi's brother Ali Ghufron were executed by firing squad on November 9, 2008.
The police forces uncovered JI's new command structure in March 2007 and discovered a weapons depot in Java in May 2007. Abu Dujana, suspected leader of JI's military wing and its possible emir, was apprehended on June 9, 2007.
As of May 2008, Indonesian police have arrested 418 suspects, of which approximately 250 have been tried and convicted. According to sources within Detachment 88, the JI organisation has been "shrunk", and many of its top operatives have been arrested or killed.
On July 17, 2009, two blasts ripped two Jakarta hotels, JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton, killing seven. It was the first serious attack for the country in the last five years. The police stated that it was committed by a splinter, yet more radical, group of JI, led by the man dubbed as the most wanted terrorist in Southeast Asia, Noordin Top. Top was killed in a raid two months later on September 17, 2009 in Solo, Central Java. All members of his cell were either killed or captured, including the recruiter and field coordinator of the attack, Ibrohim, killed on August 12, 2009, and the one said to be his successor, Syaifudin Zuhri, killed on October 9, 2009. After Top, many believed that terrorism in Indonesia had run out of charismatic leaders, and grew insignificant. According to South East Asian terrorism expert and director of South East Asia International Crisis Group, Sidney Jones, Top's death was "a huge blow for the extremist organizations in Indonesia and the region" .
On March 9, 2010, Dulmatin, a senior figure in the militant group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) and one of the most wanted terrorists in Southeast Asia was killed in a police raid in Pamulang, Jakarta by Detachment 88.
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