The Jakarta Post
The National Police and the Islam Defenders Front (FPI) denied on Sunday allegations in leaked US diplomatic cables that say the hard-line Islamic group receives funding from the police.
Published on WikiLeaks’ website, the document said the police used the group as “an attack dog” and named several top brass as responsible for the funding.
National Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Boy Rafli Amar said the police treat the FPI as they would any other civilian group.
“As a part of society, the FPI is our partner … in a positive way,” Boy said.
He said WikiLeaks had published “inaccurate data and false facts”. “We should not believe information coming from such a very shallow analysis,” he added.
The anti-censorship website on Tuesday continued to release thousands of US diplomatic cables that originated from the US Embassy in Jakarta.
The cable that alleged an illicit partnership between the police and the National Intelligence Agency (BIN) and the FPI was dated May 9, 2006.
FPI spokesman Munarman said that the claim was made by “a BIN agent who regularly sold false information to the US”.
The document said that a BIN agent, Yahya Assegaf, had told the US Embassy that, prior to the Feb. 19, 2006, vandalism of the US Embassy in Jakarta, then National Police chief Gen. (ret.) Sutanto, who currently serves as BIN chief, had “provided some funds to the FPI”.
The cable, however, does not disclose the amount of the funds.
The vandalism occurred when the FPI protested the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.
“Yahya is among those who have sufficiently close contact within the FPI to provide [the US Embassy] with advance notice of the FPI’s hostile intent hours prior to the embassy violence.”
According to the cable, Yahya also told embassy officials that Sutanto “found it useful to have the FPI available to him as an ‘attack dog’”.
“When pressed further on the usefulness of the FPI playing this role, noting that the police should be sufficiently capable of intimidation, Yahya characterized the FPI as a tool that could spare the security forces from criticism for human rights violations, and he said funding the FPI was a ‘tradition’ of the police and BIN,” the cable says.
According to the cable, Yahya said the FPI “had obtained a majority of its funds from the security forces”.
Munarman accused Yahya of being “one of the US’s cronies”.
“If [Yahya] was really a BIN agent selling information to the US, then he would truly be a traitor and could be sentenced to death according to the Criminal Code,” Munarman added.
He also accused WikiLeaks of working for US interests.
“Why has Wikileaks never released any diplomatic cables about Israel?” Munarman said.
The cable also alleges that the FPI had close contact with former Jakarta Police chief Insp. Gen. (ret.) Nugroho Djayusman, who admitted to embassy officials that he had connections with radical Islamic groups.
“[Nugroho] explained defensively that it was natural for him, as the Jakarta Police chief, to have contact with all sorts of organizations. This was necessary because the sudden release of energy from the Islamists, who had been repressed under [former president] Soeharto, could have posed a security risk,” the cable says.
“But it doesn’t mean I was involved,” Nugroho said as quoted by the cable.
Boy reiterated that the police would never treat FPI members differently — particularly if in violation of law.
“Any law violator, without exception, must face legal processes under the law,” he said.