Category Archives: Indonesia

Pay attention: Terrorist threat from Indonesia

Indonesia has been the home of a Yemeni imam (I refuse to call these people clerics) by the name of Abu Bakr Bashir. The Indonesian authorities have been extremely half-hearted about putting him away for good… or better yet, returning him to Yemen. Bashir did a short amount of time for his role in the Bali bombings, but nothing seems to stick to this particular very dangerous man. It is as if the authorities are in the tank with him.

Under the rule of both Soeharto and Sukarno, Indonesia had remained a somewhat moderate country. However, that changed as other leaders took over. It is highly likely that Warranto was somehow involved in the invasion of East Timor, yet it was Warranto who provided for the Indonesian Islamic youth in Jakarta to protect the churches from potential bombers. I have often referred to the martyrdom of a young man who found a suspicious package, grabbed it and ran, but the package went off in his hands. That young man embodies the real meaning of martyrdom.

Since at least the 1990s there has been an explosion of Islamic jihad in Indonesia with an exponential increase in the number of bombings, etc. etc. including the beheading of 3 young Christian girls in the Aceh province. The real problem is that when these jihadists are caught, and put in prison, they also get released at some time in the future. This is now a very big potential problem as shown by this report that has just been released.

The jihadists who are in prison have been interviewed, and many of them have indicated that they will continue their jihad activity. Some have even stated that as soon as they get out they will attempt to bomb the U.S. embassy in Jakarta:

He says a group of hardcore jihadis are preparing to leave Indonesian jails over the next 18 months, and some of them say they will bomb Western targets.

“Several of the men we interviewed hold this view. One of them said to us directly that if he was released from prison today, he would bomb the US embassy tomorrow,” he said.

These men say they no longer need the backing of a large terror organisation like the now defunct Jemaah Islamiah, or JI, which orchestrated the Bali bombing in 2002, killing more than 200 people including 88 Australians.

That operation took three months to plan, involved 20 people and cost about $40,000.

A growing number now call themselves freelance terrorists, willing to try smaller, more random attacks.

“We’re no longer dealing with organisations or organisational hubs, we’re dealing with individuals, some call them lone wolves, some call them freelancers,” Dr Ungerer said.

“Nonetheless, individuals who will go out and simply conduct operations in groups of two or three, which is pretty much all it took to do the Marriott hotel bombing in 2009.

“It means that the threat is not going away, if anything, it’s getting worse.”


Accusations and backtracking, left, right and centre

What a confusing week!! My week started on Monday when I saw a news report that was the result of a tweet from the aide to Donald Rumsfeld. Oi Vey!!  The tweet pre-empted the announcement that was to come from the White House that Osama Bin Laden had been killed during a raid on a house in Abbottabad, Pakistan. There are some people who just cannot accept that OBL had been alive and hiding in Pakistan, however, I see no reason to contradict the information because there is a lot of information out there that corroborates everything.

First, there is the story of how the raid went down. There has been backtracking galore on the details. You can blame that on a strategy plan that came about from a meeting the pResident had prior to his announcement. No doubt in my mind that they fudged the details in that meeting. We were told that one of the wives had been used as a human shield, but that was not true. The truth is that the woman thrust herself towards one of the SEALS and she was shot in the leg. A woman did die, but she was the wife of the courier who was the first to be shot. Then we were told that there had been “resistance”, and here we have more conflicting stories because the guns that were in the bedroom of OBL had been removed by the SEALS (or at least that is the latest story). I put no value in the story of the 12 year old, so for the moment I will discount that testimony. 

Second, there are accusations and counter-accusations from all manner of sources. There is indeed a need to question the role of the ISI and of the Pakistani government. Who was shielding Osama Bin Laden? Who put out the original stories several years ago that he was dead? I have no doubt in my mind that those stories were circulated deliberately by those who were shielding OBL whilst he continued to live in the compound in Abbottabad. However, in my mind those stories never rang true, and that includes the claim that he variously had kidney disease, lung disease or liver disease. There is absolutely no proof with regards to those assertions. As for those who claim he is an old man, I say thank you very much, but at 57 I am not an old woman, and OBL was 3 years younger than myself!!!!! In other words, he was not an old man, so those who claim such are simply trying to justify their own stances on a variety of issues.  It would be interesting to know how it was that a whole group of people in the intelligence community came to believe in the lie that OBL was dead back in about 2003. 

Third, there have been accusations regarding who nearly gave the game away – the tilt was at the Australian Foreign Minister who let the cat out of the bag that a top Indonesian operative and most wanted person associated with AQ had been captured in Pakistan. This was great theatre and more mud slinging. However, I doubt that Kevin Rudd did compromise anything because someone in the intelligence community in Pakistan had tipped off the media about that particular prize catch.  Regardless, this was a prize catch that helped affirm that OBL was in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

Fourth, there are questions being asked about who in Pakistan was shielding OBL. Well I have a theory, and I think it goes right to the top, not to the current President, but to General Musharraf, the former President of Pakistan. Here is why I think that he was involved  and it is a report in the UK Guardian:

In Afghanistan, a former intelligence chief told the Guardian that four years ago Pakistan ignored a tip-off that Bin Laden was hiding near Abbottabad. Amrullah Saleh, former head of the National Directorate of Security, which has a long-standing rivalry with the ISI, said that he had believed in 2007 that Bin Laden was hiding in Mansehra,very near Abbottabad, in one of two al-Qaida safe houses. When he put this to Pakistan’s then president, Gen Pervez Musharraf, he grew furious and smashed his fist on the table, said Saleh. “Am I the president of the Republic of Banana?” said Musharraf, Saleh recalled, leading an alarmed President Hamid Karzai, also at the meeting, to intervene.

Saleh, a fierce critic of Pakistan who has now entered Afghan politics, said he had no doubts that Mullah Omar, leader of the Afghan Taliban, is hiding in an ISI safe house in Karachi: “He is protected by ISI. General Pasha [Lieutenant-General Shuja Pasha, the ISI director general] knows, as I am talking to you, where Omar is, and he keeps daily briefs from his officers on the location of senior Taliban leaders.”

The direct accusation being made by Saleh is that the ISI is providing safe houses for these wanted individuals, including Mullah Omar. Since Saleh had it wrong about the location of OBL, I will suggest that the person who is located at Manshera is probably al-Zawahri. This is a hunch, because I feel certain that he, like OBL is hiding out somewhere in Pakistan and he is not living in a cave in the Tora Boras. It also begs the question: who tipped off OBL and companions that the allied forces were about to hit the Tora Boras? Somebody in the ISI, rather than the military likely tipped him off. It also begs the question about Musharref and whether he had ever been serious about catching these AQ operatives.

Fifth, there is a barrage of accusations against both the Pakistan government and the Pakistan military. The military is trying to let it slip that they did in fact know about the operation. However, this has not stopped the population in general criticizing the military over letting US forces carry out this raid. On the other hand, there is a good reason to question why the US is spending billions of dollars of aid on Pakistan.  Should aid be cut off, or at least cut back? 

Likewise, I question whether or not there had been any serious attempt to bring the Islamists under control. Pakistan is a nation where the Islamists have been on the rise. For this reason alone there is a lot of sympathy for the Taliban, as well as for AQ and for OBL in particular. The outpouring is bound to get worse, depending upon the radical imams and their Friday sermons. If the imams give a fiery sermon then you can expect a lot of the same that we have seen when Pakistanis get angry… expect the flag burning, the church burning and effigy burning in the near future.

The handling of the news about this operation has been totally botched.

Fallout – the signs after the death of OBL

The real fallout from the death of Osama Bin Laden could have its beginnings in Pakistan… NO, I am not talking about the Pakistani government and its taqiyya…. I am talking about the supporters of jihad and of Al Qaeda within Pakistan. I have already mentioned the Mumbai massacre in relation to OBL. It is possible that he gave the order to go ahead with that attack. It is also probable that he ordered the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in cooperation with the Tamil Tigers.

Whilst there will be angry demonstrations in London, and other major cities around the world, I suspect that such demonstrations will be somewhat muted. In a lot of Middle Eastern countries there is more likely to be a sigh of relief. In Syria for example, the organisers of the protests there have forbidden pictures of OBL on the grounds that such pictures would only spark a much harder crackdown – interesting idea (and again I question who is behind that protest). However, the place to watch is Pakistan. In this report (one of many), we can see first hand the reaction in Karachi, which is an Al Qaeda stronghold.

This little snippet from the report caught my attention:

Only today Lashkar-e-Taiba – the militants behind the Mumbai terror attack – said Bin Laden’s ‘martyrdom’ would not be in vain

Read more:

Without a doubt serious questions must be asked about Pakistan and its alleged attempts to fight terrorism. It seems that there are jihadists within the military, and even within the ISI. Who for example had tipped off OBL when the Americans began to bomb the Tora Bora region? It seems almost certain right now that OBL and his henchmen were tipped off, and that is how they escaped.

A new question to be asked right now: Where is Zawahri hiding? Is he also hiding somewhere near a military installation in Pakistan?

Another country where security is being beefed up after the death of OBL is Indonesia. This is due in part to the death of OBL but it is also due to the trial of known terrorist Yemeni imam Abu Bakr Bashir. Indonesia is also about to host a number of world leaders for a conference.

Abu Bakr Bashir is the sheik that is known to have been behind the Bali bombings and who has been responsible for the setting up of jihadi training camps in the Aceh province. One of his lieutenants was Norodin Topp who was also the subject of a manhunt a few years ago. Bashir was tried in relation to the Bali bombings, sort of, he was given a sentence but the government allowed him to go free after a series of pardons. The men who actually built the bombs have been executed (but in Indonesia the trial took time). Despite their previous attitude towards Abu Bakr Bashir, the Indonesian government has done far more in the hunt for, and the elimination of terrorists than has Pakistan.

Indonesia was already on heightened state of alert in response to a foiled plot to blow up a church on Good Friday, as well as other recent terrorist activities targeting police and moderate Muslim figures.

But President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who met with police, military and intelligence chiefs on Monday evening, has now called for security forces to be on even higher alert footing.

Members of the public have also been asked to be more vigilant, and to report anything suspicious.

In Bali, police have begun checking vehicles in the Kuta Beach area, the scene of the 2002 bombings that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.

Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika told AAP he has called for the alert level to be raised.

“We are on alert. The main point is to take extra precautions in terms of early detection and early warning,” he said.

He said security had been tightened in a co-ordinated effort involving military and civilian organisations.

“If there’s anything peculiar, people must report it immediately,” he said.

“I ask people to be on alert.”

Read more:

To this I add the following information: Indonesia has a more solid record in protecting Christian churches, than in Egypt or other Middle Eastern countries. In the past, under Wiranto, when there were credible bomb alerts at a Catholic church, Wiranto sent in the Muslim Youth to guard the church. One young man found a suspicious package which was a bomb. He ran with the package but it exploded and he was killed before he had a chance to dispose of the package. The terrorists belong to JI from the Aceh province, and they are known disciples of Abu Bakr Bashir. In fact the reason for his current court case is that he was providing training to more jihadists.