Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Indonesia Terror threat is real

The suicide bomb attack on the Sepenuh Injil Bethel Church (GBIS) in Surakarta, Central Java, on Sunday shocked the nation. It was the fourth bomb explosion in Indonesia this year.

The bombing, as in the previous instances, was relatively small in extent if we observe its impact on the church building and the number of victims. One person — believed to be the bomber — was killed and 22 others were injured.

Sunday’s blast came immediately after the completion of stage performances by both foreign and local artists in several parts of the country and amid ongoing intense deliberations of the intelligence bill at the House of Representatives (DPR). The nation is also preparing to host the Southeast Asian Games, the ASEAN Summit and East Asia Summit in November.

The bombing incidents apparently shows that Indonesia is still vulnerable to terrorist threats.

Based on past experience, it is reasonable to assume that the explosion in Surakarta might not be the last. It is extremely urgent for all of us, not only for the National Police and security agencies, to anticipate and prevent more attacks in the future.

Should the four incidents turn out to be a prelude for future attacks, it is not impossible for the next incident(s) to be greater in extent and scope.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and preliminary investigation by the Police have indicated a possible connection between Sunday’s suicide attack and the suicide bomber who attacked the police compound in Cirebon, West Java, in April this year.

“We have found in the preliminary results of our investigation that the suicide bomber was a member of the Cirebon terrorist network that carried out a similar terrorist act in Cirebon,” the President said after a Cabinet meeting at the Presidential Office in Jakarta on Sunday.

The Police have so far yet to officially identify the suspected suicide bomber. However, officers close to the investigation have hinted that the alleged perpetrator was.

Ahmad Yosepa alias Hayat, who along with M. Syarif, the suicide bomber in a mosque in the Police compound in Cirebon, had participated in a terrorist training camp in Ciamis, West Java, since October 2010.

Hayat was also on the police’s most-wanted list for his alleged involvement in the Cirebon bombing and the shooting of police officers in Palu, Central Sulawesi, earlier this year.

It is good to see that the police have worked fast to identify a possible connection between the perpetrators of previous attacks and the violence in Surakarta. Still all those measures have yet to prevent such attacks from happening — a key success indicator for security institutions, here and elsewhere.
It is true that preventing terrorist attacks is not an easy task to perform. It requires close cooperation among all
elements of the nation — not just for the forces of law and order.

All energy and resources, including the House’s deliberation on the intelligence bill — the legal umbrella needed to prevent terror attacks — must be focused on creating stability and order in the country.

Otherwise, all the upcoming international events here – and the country’s security image — will be at stake. Jakarta Post.

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