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Jakarta Post

Seeking a balance between intelligence and citizen rights

  • Cahyadi Satriya and Curie Maharani

Jakarta   /   Thu, May 5 2011   /  08:00 am

The suicide bombing at the mosque inside the Cirebon Police compound on April 16 again showed the risks and the potential for casualties if intelligence agencies fail to prevent acts of terrorism.

Worse, the bombing served to mock the capability, or lack thereof, of Indonesia’s intelligence bodies, as it struck a symbol of the nation’s security apparatus.

Undoubtedly, accurate and timely intelligence is vital in both peacetime and wartime. Intelligence bodies serve to provide information on potential threats or adversaries to protect the state and its citizens.

A lack of accurate intelligence will result in a failure to make quick and correct decisions during crises, and, at worst, a failure to discover imminent threats. The CIA was lambasted for its failure to prevent the 9/11 attack in 2001 and its credibility has declined since then.

Possession of a...