Terrorism – a Threat to Indonesia in 2008

Terrorism will remain a threat to Indonesia‘s security in 2008 despite no such occurrence in 2007, an official said. There was no bombing incident related to terrorism in 2007, but we have to remain alert for such a threat in 2008.

“We have prepared some anticipatory measures, such as expanding international cooperation, improving detection skills of police officers and establishing alliances with ulemas so there is a unified perspective on terrorism,” he said, adding they would also prioritize the pursuit of terrorist leader Noordin M. Top and his group according to Irawaty Wardany.

He said there was also potential for the emergence of both vertical and horizontal conflicts in certain regions in 2008.

“We ask all parties to be aware of any security disturbances in the future, including bomb terror, anarchic demonstration, riots and radical and separatist activities,” he said.

Sisno said security conditions in Indonesia in 2007 were relatively satisfactory, citing the fact police had managed to settle 215,428 out of 307,405 conventional criminal cases reported. The figure was 34 percent higher than the 180,752 cases settled in 2006.
The cases included theft, murder, gambling and rape.

He said in 2008 the conventional crimes would continue to increase in correlation with “the people’s low level of welfare”.
The year 2007 also saw 18,640 transnational crimes, with police settling 16,971 of them.

“The transnational crimes are dominated by drug dealing, terrorism and human trafficking,” Sisno said.

Brig. Gen. Arief Sumarwoto of the National Narcotics Agency said the agency had several programs to prevent an increase in the number of drug abuse cases.

“We conduct workshops at schools and offices. We also air advertisements on TV, at movie theaters and by running text at a national TV station,” he said.

He added that 17,757 drug cases had been uncovered in 2007, 8,888 of which related to narcotics, 7,433 to psychotropics and 1,436 to other addictive substances.

Sisno said the drug dealing cases would continue to increase in 2008.

“Other crimes with the potential to increase are smuggling, human trafficking, money laundering and cyber crimes.”

He said the ways to overcome those crimes were to empower the community, intensify the police force by focusing on preventive and preemptive actions, improve the handling of prioritized crimes of drug abuse and terrorism and improve both domestic and international cooperation.

Meanwhile, the National Police Commission criticized the police’s performance, saying that despite being active in handling criminal cases, the police had yet to proportionally respond to people’s complaints.

“We received 597 complaints from the public in 2007, 499 of which have been handed over to the police for further investigation. But so far, only 257 complaints have received a response from the police,” the commission’s secretary Ronny Lihawa told a conference.