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.
In June 2015, Indonesia was taken off the Financial Action Task Force blacklist of 'Non-Cooperative Countries or Territories' (NCCTs) due to Indonesia no longer being non-cooperative in the global fight against money laundering and terrorist financing. That gives Indonesia the same status as other major economies in the G-20.
Traditionally militias politically opposed to Indonesian government interests have been held responsible for terrorism attacks in Indonesia. Separatist movements operating in Indonesia, such as the Darul Islam (Indonesia), Fretilin (East Timorese independence militia during the Indonesian occupation of East Timor), the Gerakan Aceh Merdeka, and the Organisasi Papua Merdeka were often held responsible for 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 and/or ISIL.
Since 2003, a number of 'western targets' have been attacked. Victims have included both foreigners — 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 Noordin Top, the terrorist cells in Indonesia have grown more and more insignificant.
Since 2011, terrorist attacks seemed to shift from targeting foreign Western interests and residents to attacking Indonesian police officers. The Indonesian Police had success in cracking down on terrorist cells, and in retaliation a new terrorist cell, identified as the "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, West Java, during Friday prayers. The bomber was killed and at least 28 people were injured. The same cell was also suspected of being involved in two more attacks in Solo, the suicide bombing of a church on 25 September 2011, and a shooting targeting police on 17 August 2012. However these attacks were not as well-prepared and high scaled as previous attacks organized by the Jemaah Islamiyah terrorist group.
Although the number of terrorist attacks seem to have reduced in both amount and scale, some terrorist hotspots such as Poso, Central Sulawesi, remain. the Poso region was previously marred by religious violence between Muslims and Christians in the area. On 16 October 2012, Police discovered two corpses of murdered police that had been missing for three days in Tamanjeka village, Poso Regency, Central Sulawesi. The victims went missing during an investigatory mission to a suspected terrorist training ground in a forest the Poso area.
Similar attacks targeting the Indonesian authorities, especially police officers, have also occurred in Papua, however these are not linked with Islamist terrorist cells, but rather with the Papuan separatist movement Organisasi Papua Merdeka. On 8 April 2012, a Trigana Air PK-YRF airplane was shot at by unidentified gunmen during a landing approach on Mulia airstrip, Puncak Jaya, Papua. A Papua Pos journalist, Kogoya (35), was killed in this shooting. On 27 November 2012, three policemen stationed at the remote Pirime police post, Jayawijaya, Papua, were killed in an attack by a group of unidentified men. Police suspected the Papua separatist movement was behind the attack.
Political and community responses
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 pointed to 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. Even the term "Jemaah Islamiyah" is controversial in Indonesia as it means "Islamic community/congregation", and was also the subject of previous "New Order" manipulation.
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 the Central Java-based Islamist movement Jemaah Islamiah.
Within 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.
By May 2008, Indonesian police had arrested 418 suspects, of which approximately 250 had been tried and convicted. According to sources within Detachment 88, the JI organisation had been "shrunk", and many of its top operatives had 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 five years. The police stated that it was committed by a more radical splinter group of JI, led by the man then 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 the 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.
List of attacks
|28 March 1981||Garuda Indonesia Flight 206||6||2||Hijacking||Commando Jihad||-- Airports & Airlines
|21 January 1985||Borobudur||0||0||Improvised Explosive Device||Husein Ali Al Habsyie||-- Religious figures & institutions|
|15 March 1985||Banyuwangi||7||14||Improvised Explosive Device||Mochammad Achwan||-- Transport
|19 April 1999||Merdeka Square||0||4||Improvised Explosive Device||-||-- Religious figures & institutions|
|1 August 2000||Menteng||2||21||Car bomb||-||-- Diplomatic|
|14 September 2000||South Jakarta||15||27||Car bomb||Jemaah Islamiyah||-- Business|
|24 December 2000||Sukabumi||3||20||Improvised explosive device||Jemaah Islamiyah||-- Religious figures & institutions
|24 December 2000||Bandung||4||2||Improvised explosive device||Jemaah Islamiyah||-- Religious figures & institutions|
|24 December 2000||Jakarta||4||18||Car bomb||Jemaah Islamiyah||-- Religious figures & institutions
|24 December 2000||Pekanbaru||5||8||Improvised explosive device||Jemaah Islamiyah||-- Religious figures & institutions
|10 May 2001||Setiabudi||2||2||Improvised explosive device||-||-- Government institutions
|22 July 2001||Duren Sawit||0||43||Improvised explosive device||-||-- Religious figures & institutions
|3 April 2002||Ambon City||4||58||Improvised explosive device||-||-- Private citizens & property|
|5 June 2002||Poso||5||17||Improvised explosive device||-||-- Transport|
|12 July 2002||Poso||1||5||Improvised explosive device||-||-- Transport|
|8 August 2002||Poso||1||4||Improvised explosive device||-||-- Transport|
|4 September 2002||Ambon City||4||-||Improvised explosive device||-||-- Private citizens & property
|12 October 2002||Kuta Beach||202||250+||Truck bomb & Suicide bomb||Jemaah Islamiyah||-- Private citizens & property (Foreign tourists)
|5 December 2002||Makassar||3||15||Suicide bombing||Laskar Jundullah Islamic Militia||-- Private citizens & property
|26 April 2003||Soekarno–Hatta International Airport||0||11||Improvised explosive device||Jemaah Islamiyah||-- Private citizens & property|
|5 August 2003||Setiabudi||12||150||Car bomb||Jemaah Islamiyah||-- Private citizens & property (Foreign tourists)
|31 December 2003||Peureulak||10||45||Improvised explosive device||-- Private citizens & property|
|10 January 2004||Palopo||4||3||Improvised explosive device||-||-- Private citizens & property|
|9 September 2004||Setiabudi||9||150||Car bomb||Jemaah Islamiyah||-- Diplomatic
|13 November 2004||Poso||6||3||Improvised explosive device||-||-- Transport|
|28 May 2005||Tentena||22||90||Improvised explosive device||-||-- Private citizens & property|
|31 December 2005||Kuta & Jimbaran||23||100||Suicide bombing||Jemaah Islamiyah||-- Private citizens & property (Foreign tourists)|
|31 December 2005||Palu||8||53||Nail bomb||-- Private citizens & property|
|17 July 2009||Setiabudi||9||53||Suicide bombing||Jemaah Islamiyah||-- Private citizens & property (Foreign tourists)|
|15 April 2011||Cirebon||1||26||Suicide bombing||-||-- Government institution|
|25 September 2011||Solo||1||14||Suicide bombing||-||-- Religious figures & institutions|
|16 October 2012||Poso||2||0||Small arms fire||-||-- Government institution
|2 June 2013||Poso||1||1||Suicide bombing||-||-- Government institution|
|14 January 2016||Central Jakarta||5||24||Suicide bombing, multiple explosions and shooting spree||ISIS||-- Government institution (Police) and Expatriates
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