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Jakarta Post

Police face epic failure in countering terrorism

  • Pierre Marthinus


  /   Sat, July 3 2010   /  01:10 pm

In the land of the tolerant, the intolerant abuse the air of tolerance. Our democracy is currently being wantonly abused by hard-line groups, while our counterterrorism policy is facing a potentially epic failure. In a young democracy, where police officers stand idle while minorities are being harassed by fundamentalist groups, terrorism seems to breed like jackrabbits. Our latest development sends conflicting signals - with successes as well as failures in countering terrorism. So what do we make of this? The special Detachment 88 antiterror squad has probably been the most positive step made so far, compensating somewhat for the Indonesian police's long list of dysfunctions and institutional incompetence. However, reports of abuses exist and recently 200 people protested in front of the National Police headquarters arguing that the issue of terrorism was fabricated, dem...