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Home >> World
UPDATED: 10:27, September 09, 2006
Experts warn of terrorist attacks at year end in Indonesia
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Terrorists might launch strikes at year end in Indonesia due to more annual events that lead to mass gathering which become soft target, experts warned.

Ansyaad Mbai, head of anti-terror desk of Indonesian Coordinating Ministry of Politics, Law and Security, said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua that terrorists were not stopping their activities now, but preparing and waiting for a chance to launch other strikes.

The arrest of terrorist figures even top leaders would not halt the group from continuing their move, which is an ideological movement, he said.

"I am sure the strike would depend on their readiness and how good opportunity they have for that," said Mbai.

"The chance (to have attacks) in our country is generally the best at ahead of year end, as there are many anniversaries, where people gather, many mass or many people travel, so they attack the points," he said.

Indonesia, the biggest Muslim country, has been hit by a series of major suicide bombings including the Bali Bombings respectively in 2002 and 2005, Marriot hotel and embassy bombings in Jakarta in 2003 and 2004 respectively, all occurred at year end.

Earlier, police said hundreds kilograms of explosive materials, the remainders of those used for the embassy explosion in Jakarta in 2004, is still in terrorists' hands.

Since the authorities have tightened security that hamper transport of explosives material in a large amount, terrorists have shifted method of operation from car bomb to back pack bomb with large number.

"The most possible for them is to develop assembled-bomb in a smaller size but it could attack simultaneously," he said.

An ex-senior member of the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) Nasir Abbas, who is now under the Indonesian police custody, said that the back- pack bomb was chosen because it was difficult to be detected.

Mbai said that after years facing with terrorist group, Indonesian police have known a lot about terrorist network and moves, making the group become divided and isolated into small cells, but they are still united in an ideology and mind set.

"Each cell is more autonomous, it can make a plot, fund, by itself, without coordination with other cells," he said.

Head of Southeast Asia Crisis Management Sidney Jones told Xinhua that the fugitive mastermind of the terrorist attacks in Indonesia Noerdin Mohammad Top has dissented from JI and conduct moves without coordination with other JI senior members.

"He does not seek approval from Air, head of the JI or others for his plan," She told Xinhua.

Noerdin is a terrorist coordinator in Southeast Asia, whom many times escaped from police pursuit and along with the slain Ashore, the bomb expert, has planned and implemented terrorist plots in Indonesia that killed more than 250 people.

"The figure of strategist and implementation is Noerdin. We showed him in video how the way he recruit in Semarang, so the candidate of the suicide bomber can be convinced," said Mbai.

The head of anti-terror unit said that to prevent terrorism in the future, the government must stop the root cause of the terrorism, that is radicalism.

The only thing that the authorities can do now is to firmly enhance law enforcement, but for long term it must eliminate the cause of radicalism, which comes from the injustices in the sector of politics, economy as well as global politics.

"The person, who has become militant, is not easy to change his mind. So it is needed a strong law enforcement," he said.

To pave the achievement of the long-term effort of eliminating injustice, the country's majority moderate Muslims, whom were silent to face radical groups during the attacks in five years ago and now have begun to take effort to persuade the radical groups, must also more be active to change mind of radicalism, said Mbai.

In addition, the government must gradually eliminate other factors that become its responsibility, he said.

Indonesian security authorities would seem face more challenges to fight terrorist groups, as they have recently change method of operation, which more rely on cyber media.

National Police chief General Sutanto told Xinhua that all concerned parties must increase alert on the terrorist threat.

"We may not be careless, but keep on alert," he said.

Mbai also said that police would face hard challenges in the future, as they must keep balancing the terrorist capability on cyber as well as the fraction of the groups into cells make them more difficult for detection.

"Now, terrorists are on small groups. The challenges are getting harder. The small groups are more difficult to be detected, " he said.

"Internet is the most effective facility for terrorist to communicate, recruit, look for funds, to train, inform the way to make bomb and to guide the target to be attacked," said Mbai.

Using internet would be relatively safe for them and more efficient, said the head of the anti-terror desk.

"Now the terrorist are busy to campaign their ideology through internet," he said.

The former JI senior member Abbas said that terrorist today have changed the way of their operation from fully secret to open.

"From the past that I know, the culture of the JI is secret culture, but now they open their way, their modus in a website that can be read by many people," he told Xinhua, referring to the "anhar" website that had been used by the groups.

Sydney Jones said that police must beef up control on terrorists being jailed from possible communicates with their fugitive fellows.

She said that internet played important role in radicalization, as many materials of jihad in the Middle East or other places, were easily to be downed load and be used again in Indonesia in a different interpretation.

Source: Xinhua


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