Indonesia: Terrorism prevention

In the past decades, Indonesia has suffered severe terrorist attacks, faced major terrorism challenges and has made impressive progress in countering it.  The trend of terrorist groups operating in Indonesia to focus on "soft" targets resulted in the Bali bombing of restaurants frequented by westerners in 2002 and 2005.  In July 2009, the Jakarta bombings of the J.W. Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels claimed a total of 29 lives and injured 150 people.

The Indonesian Government initiated extensive efforts to counter the threat of terrorism within its borders immediately following the 2002 Bali bombing.  Since then, Indonesia has continued to expand progressively its abilities to counter the proliferation of terrorist activities.  The INDONESIAN NATIONAL POLICE has successfully dismantled several terrorist networks and the Government continued to strengthen the ability of the counter-terrorism unit of the police (Detachment 88).  The Government has also made significant progress in ending the separatist conflicts in Aceh and Papua, which has helped to reduce terrorist attacks by separatists.  Of late, the large scale radicalization of students enrolled in Pesantrens (Islamic schools) and the subsequent spreading of such influence in regular universities is a cause for concern.

Indonesia has made notable progress in strengthening the legal regime against terrorism, in conformity with the international treaties against terrorism. Further measures are however needed to complete the legal regime building processes.  Indonesia has ratified seven of the 16 universal terrorism instruments.  Steps are underway to ratify three more instruments.  An important area requiring further attention is for Indonesia to become a State party to treaties relating to the safety of maritime navigation.

The existing legal framework and mutual legal assistance in criminal matters provides grounds for jurisdiction as stipulated by international conventions.  However, further clarity needs to be established on jurisdiction to fully implement the requirements of extradite or prosecute. In addition, the existing legal regime on international cooperation in criminal matters may have legal obstacles concerning the interpretation of terrorist crimes as political offences. Indonesia is currently working on upgrading its legal regime on countering the financing of terrorism in line with the international law requirement.

Over the years, Indonesia has also built extensive national implementation capacity for criminal justice responses to terrorism.  Nevertheless, there are several thematic and functional areas where these capacity building efforts need to be continued and reinforced.