Terrorism Still Become a Major Threats in Indonesia
By: Stanislaus Riyanta
Terrorist threat in Indonesia cannot be underestimated. Police has recently collected evidence related to the presence of terrorist cells in Indonesia. They arrest series of suspected terrorists in Majalengka and Aceh. In addition to 12 people who were detained, police also secured evidence in the form of explosives. The explosive estimated strength is exceeding the Bali bombings.
This year, there are several actions related to terrorism occurring in Indonesia. In January 2016 there was Thamrin Jakarta bombing. From the results of the investigation, it is known that the perpetrator is a network of Jamaah Ansarut Daulah (JAD) affiliated with Abu Jandal, an ISIS figure in Syria coming from Indonesia.
On Tuesday, 5/7/2016, another act of terrorism occurred in police headquarters in Surakarta. The perpetrator rode motorcycles and tried to enter Mapolresta Surakarta. Because he wasstopped by members of the police on duty, the perpetrator detonated the bomb and eventually died. Nur Rohman (31), the perpetrator was a member of Arif Hidayatullah alias Abu Mus'ab group which is a network of Bahrun Naim who was in Syria. Nur Rohman and his group are members of Jamaat Ansar Khilafah (JAKDN), a fraction from Jamaah Islamiyah that is affiliated with ISIS.
In Medan, 28/08/2016, a terror act using a low explosive power bomb was performed in St. Joseph Catholic Church in Medan. The executors named Ivan Armadi Hasugian failed to perform terror act and only managed to make little cuts on Pastor Albert S Pandingan’s left arm. The perpetrator brought yellow pipe homemade bomb while wielding a knife toward Father Albert who started preaching. The pastor was rescued by the people and the perpetrator was secured. The perpetrator was sympathizing with ISIS after ISIS spread their propaganda on the Internet.
Tangerang is not spared from terrorist acts. On Thursday, 20/10/2016, SA, a resident of Sepatan Lebak Wangi Village, Tangerang, injured several police officers including Tangerang Police Sector chief, Commissioner Efendi. The perpetrator used a knife and attacked police after previously put ISIS stickers at the police station. SA was indicated to be associated with ISIS. This is proven by Bahrunaim telegram chatwho praised the attack in Tangerang as a lone wolf attack that could deter police across Indonesia.
In Samarinda, an act of terror occurred on 13/11/2016. A petrol bomb exploded at the Ecumenical Church, at Jl Cipto Mangunkusumo, Village Sengkotek, District Lo Janan Ilir, Samarinda, East Kalimantan. Four toddlers became victims of the terror act. One of the four victims eventually died on Monday 14/11/2016. Juhanda, the perpetrator of this action, was successfully secured by the citizens. J was a former terrorist prisoner involved in Puspitek Serpong bomb and Pepy Fernando’s book bombing groups. National Counter-Terrorism Agency (BNPT) said that Juhanda is a member of Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD). The group which was led by Aman Abdurrahman, who is currently imprisoned in Nusakambangan, Cilacap, Central Java.
In addition to these actions, there are other alleged terrorist acts such as the discovery of bombs in Jogjakarta and terrorism acts at worship place in Singkawang, West Kalimantan. The actions mentioned above are certainly very dangerous, because they can be life threatening and cause fear and fulfill terrorist groups’ goal which is to create fear in the community, so that the existence of these groups could be recognized even followed by the people.
Beware of Terror Attack at the end of Year
Prior to the New Year celebration, Indonesia must increase the vigilance against terrorism. The arrest of 12 suspected terrorists in Majalengka and Aceh did not eliminate the possibility of another group creatingother acts of terror. End and the beginning of the year are the time that are prone to terror attack. This moment becomes a favorite time for the terror groups to carry out the attack as a form of resistance against the opposition.
Indonesia has experienced unexpected events on Christmas and New Year moment. There were series of Christmas bombings at churches in 2000 done by the JI group that caused many victims. Within minutes, hundreds of people were harmed, 16 people were dead, 96 others were injured, and 37 cars were damaged.
At the end of 2013, the police managed to arrest suspected terrorists who would carry out Christmas 2013 and New Year 2014 bombing. Densus 88 arrested Irwan Kurniawan alias Arqom, in Lamongan, East Java; Fahri alias Agus in Kali Abang Nangka, North Bekasi.
In Bekasi, on 23122015, police arrested Arif Hidayatullah and his group including those from Uighur. Arif Hidayatullah was known to be affiliated with Jamaat Ansar Khilafah Nusantara (JAKDN). Arif Hidayatullah was Bahrun Naim’s college friend who is now in Syria. When Arif Hidayatullah was arrested, there was one person who was escaped, namely Nur Rohman, who was later known to be a suicide bomber in Mapolresta Surakarta.
ISIS is currently being pressured by the resistance of the international group. ISIS power in Syria and Iraq began to erode. ISIS leaders respond to this by instructing its supporters in various regions to commit acts of terror in their areas of expertise. This has been an inspiration for acts of terror in Indonesia lately.
People have to stay alerted because terrorism is still a major threat in Indonesia. Christmas and New Year moments are usually a favorite time for terrorists to carry out the attack in Indonesia. This vulnerability is getting worse because security forces are busy safeguarding the elections in 2017 and a series of rally that demand to prosecute blasphemy case in Jakarta. The concentration of security forces in defamation case can bring security gap that could be used by terrorist groups to carry out acts of terror.
Society cannot just rely on the security and intelligence apparatus. The security forces and intelligence services, police and BIN, are working hard to prevent terrorism, such as the arrest of the alleged perpetrators of terror in Majalengka and Aceh. If they did not arrest them and secure the explosive, they could carry out an attack and kill many people.
People’s social senses have to be sharp, especially in sensing suspicious people. Although normally, people and family around suspected terrorists will be surprised and did not know that the perpetrator has already joined terroris network.
*) Stanislaus Riyanta, analis intelijen dan keamanan, alumnus Program Pascasarjana S2 Kajian Stratejik Intelijen Universitas Indonesia, tinggal di Jakarta.
By: Stanislaus Riyanta