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Today's terrorists are from diverse backgrounds, are more updated in their skills, and include suspects in the late teens recruited into the old networks. The National Antiterrorism Agency (BNPT), said further strengthening security and more legal improvements were urgent to combat terrorism.
“These militants not only have a good network but they also have their own fundraising sources,” BNPT chief Ansyaad Mbaai said.
In June this year, the National Police arrested five alleged terrorists in Medan, North Sumatra. The BNPT said the suspects had collected Rp 8 billion (US$848,000) by hacking into a multi-level marketing website. The group, which police linked with a 2011 church bombing in Surakarta, Central Java, used the funds for paramilitary training and terrorist operations.
Ansyaad hopes for the deliberation of the terrorist funding bill, to support the BNPT in tracking terrorists' financial sources. The bill is aimed at cutting off terrorist-linked funding and would impose penalties on all those involved. While such a bill would help authorities trace the money, proving that large transactions are aimed at terrorism will be very difficult, said the researcher Al Chaedar. Legal experts also warn it could overlap with the 2010 law on money laundering.
The BNPT hopes that at the very least the revision of the Law No. 15/ 2003 on terrorism could give related agencies stronger authority in making arrests. So far the BNPT and the anti terror special detachment unit, Densus 88, only manage to arrest suspects after bombing incidents.
“There are so many untouchable places and people who become catalysts in the spread of radicalism, but our hands are tied,” Ansyaad said.
Every Friday many preachers relay messages which can be seen as fanning intolerance. However activists have protested earlier plans to screen clerics' speeches, saying a blank check to screen sermons beforehand could be easily abused.
Researcher Solahuddin said a regulation for incitement of hate is a must. “These radical preachers are free and they don’t have any consequences in spreading hate,” he said.
The security think thank, the International Crisis Group, has urged the government to reduce the influence of extremist clerics through a program that would include "developing a consensus on what constitutes incitement and hate speech ...".
Prominent lawyer Mahendradatta, who leads the Muslims Defenders' Team, says a new regulation on hate speech would pose a huge problem in measuring hate speech.
“There's no need to create another regulation which will create double standards,” he said. If law enforcers think clerics are inciting hate, he said, they could simply use the existing clauses in the criminal code.
Ansyaad believes terrorism continues here because of weak laws and their enforcement, and lack of public support. He cited authorities in Malaysia and Singapore who can arrest people on charges of spreading extremist ideologies.
Here the trauma of the authoritarian New Order still persists. Haris Azhar of the independent Commission for Victims of Violence and Forced Dissappearance (Kontras) says more powers to arrest suspects would be easily abused, either through a revision of the terrorism law or a new legal instrument against hate speech.
"It is a public secret that police often make mistakes in arrests, shooting and torturing suspected terrorists," Haris said.
Groups related to terrorism
Earlier identified groups:
• Tauhid Waljihad (established in 2003)
Leader: Aman Abdulrahman or Oman Rahman
Base: Jakarta, West Java, East Java
Related cases: Cimanggis bombing (2004), funded military training in Aceh (2010), explosions at a police compound in Cirebon and a church in Solo (2011)
• Jamaah Islamiyah (JI)
Known for links to al-Qaeda
Leader: Abdullah Sungkar (deceased)
Related cases: Military training in Aceh (2010), murder of prosecutor Ferry Silalahi and Priest Susianti Tinulele in Poso (2005), Tentena bombing in Poso (2004), Bali bombings (2002, 2005), Australian Embassy bombing (2004)
• Jamaah Ansharut Tauhid (JAT)
Leader: Abu Bakar Ba’asyir
Related cases: Military training in Aceh (2010), Solo church bombing (2011)
• Tanzim Qoidatul Jihad
Leader: unclear; terrorist suspect Noordin Top (deceased) was one of the founders after a split from JI
Related cases: Bali bombing (2002 and 2005), JW Mariott Hotel bomb (2003)
• Darul Islam (DI)
Leader: Abu Umar
Related cases: Weapon smuggling, militia training camps in Java (2009- 2011), plans to attack police and Shiites
• Poso group
Base: Poso, Central Sulawesi
Related cases: Police murdered at BCA Bank during an attempt to steal weapons in Poso (2011), bombing in Poso (2006-2007)
• Banten Ring
Leader: Umar Yusuf (alias Jaja)
Related cases: Among the organizers of terrorist military training in Aceh (2010), JW Marriott Hotel bombing (2009), Australian Embassy bombing (2004)
Later identified groups:
• Kholaqah Abu Mustan Al Zarkawi/Farhan group with Philippine networks
Related cases: Police murder in Solo (2012)
• Depok group/Thoriq group
Base: Depok, West Java
Related cases: Depok bombing accident (2012), plans to target police/Densus 88 or Buddhists, in protest against treatment of the minority Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.
• Solo group
Leader: Badri Hartono
Base : Solo
Related cases: Explosives found in suspect’s house
• Cirebon group/Assabul Khafy group
Leader: Yadi Supriyadi
Related cases: Suicide bombing at Cirebon police compound (2011)
• Pepi group
Leader: Pepi Fernando
Related cases: Book bombings (sent to leading liberal Muslim Ulil A. Abdalla, former police detective chief Gorys Mere, self-claimed Jewish singer Achmad Dani) and bomb attack at cathedral in Gading Serpong (2011), plans to attack President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
• Medan group
Leader: Tony Togar
Base: North Sumatra
Related cases: Robbery of CIMB Niaga in Medan (2010), gun clashes with North Sumatra Police (2010), Lippo Bank robbery in Medan (2003)
Sources: Interviews, ICG reports, police statements