Posts Tagged ‘Jakarta’

South Korea’s Moon unveils new focus on Southeast Asia

November 9, 2017

 

South Korea’s presidential Blue House has said the policy will mirror Moon Jae-in’s “New Northern Policy” aimed at expanding cooperation between China, Japan, Russia and Mongolia. (Reuters)
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JAKARTA: South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Thursday unveiled a new policy aimed at deepening ties with Southeast Asia, as the North Asian economic powerhouse seeks to curb its reliance on traditional trading partners like China and the United States.
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Moon made Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s biggest economy, his first state visit to the region and was accompanied by a delegation of around 200 business leaders.
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The “New Southern Policy,” aims to better connect South Korea to Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and expand the economic influence of Asia’s fourth-largest economy in the region home to over half a billion people.
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“Korean diplomacy in Asia has been more toward Japan, China and Russia. But I see that it should expand to new horizons and Indonesia has good prospects,” Moon said in opening remarks at a business forum.
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South Korea’s presidential Blue House has said the policy will mirror Moon’s “New Northern Policy” aimed at expanding cooperation between China, Japan, Russia and Mongolia. Moon announced that in September while at the East Economic Forum in Russia.
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Indonesia and South Korea signed a memorandum of understanding to develop a light rail transit (LRT) system, Indonesia’s industry minister Airlangga Hartarto said.
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South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said the project in Jakarta was part of a series of MOUs worth up to $1.9 billion due to be signed.
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A recent year-long diplomatic standoff between Seoul and Beijing over the deployment of a US anti-missile system has exposed the dependence of Korean companies on Chinese customers and likely exacerbated Seoul’s urgency to diversify ties.
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During a joint news conference with US President Donald Trump this week, Moon said he was aiming for a more “balanced diplomacy,” which would include Russia, ASEAN countries, and members of the EU.
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Moon is due to meet Indonesian President Joko Widodo at a state palace in Bogor, south of Jakarta, later on Thursday for talks and then a state dinner.
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The two are due to discuss infrastructure, trade, and also tensions on the Korean peninsula.
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Indonesia has traditionally had good relations with North Korea and maintains diplomatic ties and is one of a small number of countries with an embassy in Pyongyang.
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A number of South Korean companies already have or are planning big investments in Indonesia. Steel giant POSCO has a multi-billion-dollar joint venture with Indonesia’s Krakatau Steel, Hyundai Motor is setting up a car factory and Samsung Electronics assembles smartphones in the country.
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Indonesia is also emerging as an important market for South Korean defense equipment and the countries are cooperating on a venture to jointly build a fighter plane, dubbed KF-X.
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Indonesia’s trade with South Korea was worth about $10 billion in the first nine months of 2017, while Korean foreign direct investment rose about a quarter to $1.37 billion over period. South Koreans make up one of the largest expatriate groups in Indonesia and parts of Jakarta have numerous Korean restaurants and bars.
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As well as corporate muscle, Korea’s soft power has also grown in Indonesia alongside other countries in Southeast Asia. Korean K-Pop is hugely popular among Indonesians, with long-established fan clubs and bands, like BTS, touring the Southeast Asian country. Indonesian Twitter accounts dedicated to Korean pop idols have around a million followers.
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Dozens dead after blaze sweeps through Indonesia fireworks factory

October 26, 2017

AFP

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2017-10-26

Dozens of people have been killed and dozens more injured in a blaze that tore through a fireworks factory outside the Indonesian capital, police said Thursday, triggering explosions and sending plumes of black smoke into the air.

The fire broke out at an industrial complex in Tangerang, a satellite city of Jakarta.

“There are 103 workers in total at this factory, 43 are injured and being treated in three hospitals, the remains of 23 victims have been found,” Nico Afinta from the Jakarta police told Kompas TV.

Many of the bodies of the victims were found clustered at the back of the factory, police said, indicating there may have been a panicked rush to flee the flames.

A firefighter at the scene said the victims had been burned beyond recognition.

“Those who died are completely unrecognisable, totally burnt,” Oni Sahroni told Metro TV.

Parts of the building collapsed after being gutted by the blaze, which scorched nearby cars. Witnesses reported hearing blasts erupt from the site.

Local resident Beni Benteng told AFP said he heard an explosion and people inside screaming for help.

“My friends and I and some police officers knocked down a wall so people could escape, then the workers came out,” he said.

“I saw people including women were jumping from above, oh my God,” he added.

The blaze, which broke out in the morning, was brought under control by late afternoon and authorities were working to recover the victims’ bodies from the building.

Explosions

Authorities have not yet said how the fire started, but have confirmed it began near the front door and quickly spread.

“Victims were found piling at the back, it seems like they were avoiding the blaze at the front door,” Afinta told Metro TV.

Desperate friends and family thronged a nearby police hospital in Keramat Kati looking for loved ones.

Video footage shot by an AFP stringer showed victims, covered in bandages, laid out on stretches and others with minor injuries sitting in the hallways or outside.

A factory worker at the hospital in Keramat Kati said the fire erupted in the middle of production.

“I don’t know how it happened, I was working outside of the factory and there were some explosions, four cars exploded and almost all motorbikes also exploded,” Ade, who suffered burns to his arms and legs, told AFP.

The factory — part of a complex that borders a residential area — had only been operating for six weeks, district government official Toni Rustoni told Metro TV.

Indonesia military chief ‘free to travel to US’: embassy

October 23, 2017

AFP

© AFP/File | The Indonesian military said General Gatot Nurmantyo was unable to board his Emirates flight from the Indonesian capital after being refused entry by the US Customs and Border Protection agency

JAKARTA (AFP) – Indonesia’s military chief is free to travel to the United States, the US embassy said Monday, after the general was apparently stopped as he tried to board a flight.

Jakarta has demanded an explanation for the incident after General Gatot Nurmantyo — who is believed to harbour presidential ambitions — was refused boarding in Jakarta by the US Customs and Border Protection agency.

Nurmantyo had been invited to Washington by the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph F. Dunford, America’s highest-ranking military officer, where he was due to attend a conference.

Erin Elizabeth McKee, acting deputy ambassador to Jakarta, told reporters there were “absolutely no issues” with the general’s ability to visit the US.

“General Gatot is able to travel, there are no restrictions, the United States welcomed his participation in the conference that General Dunford invited him to,” she said.

Indonesian foreign minister Retno Marsudi said the US ambassador had apologised, but had offered no explanation.

“We have told them that we still demand a clarification and explanation on why the incident happened, we told them we are still waiting,” she said.

Nurmantyo will not attend the conference unless this clarification is received, the military said. “If there has been a mistake, there must be an apology, not to the military commander but to the government,” a military spokesman said.

Since being appointed armed forces chief by President Joko Widodo in July 2015, Nurmantyo has been at the centre of several controversies.

Earlier this year he abruptly suspended all military cooperation with Australia in a row over teaching materials, and he has been rebuked by members of President Joko Widodo’s cabinet for making misleading public remarks.

Nurmantyo will step down as leader of the armed forces in 2018 and many analysts believe he has political ambitions.

Related:

Indonesia to demand answers after military chief denied U.S. entry

October 22, 2017

Reuters

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia intends to send a diplomatic note to the U.S. secretary of state and summon Washington’s deputy ambassador in Jakarta to explain why the head of its military was denied entry to the United States, an Indonesian official said on Sunday.

Indonesia’s Armed Forces Commander General Gatot Nurmantyo was about to board a flight on Saturday when the airline informed him that U.S. authorities had denied him entry, according to Indonesian media reports.

Nurmantyo was going to the United States at the invitation of General Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and a former head of the U.S. Marine Corps, according to the reports. He was also due to take part in a forum organized by the Center for Strategic & International Studies in Washington on Monday.

Arrmanatha Nasir, a spokesman for Indonesia’s foreign affairs ministry said that Nurmantyo had informed the ministry of the entry denial but the spokesman could not confirm details.

“After receiving that information, our foreign affairs minister has asked our ambassador in Washington DC to send a diplomatic note to the U.S. secretary of state to ask for clarification,” he said.The ministry will also summon the U.S. deputy ambassador in Jakarta on Monday to seek explanation, Nasir said, adding that the ambassador is presently not in Indonesia.

The U.S. embassy in Jakarta did not immediately respond to questions about the incident.

Nurmantyo has frequently courted controversy in Indonesia because of his actions and what analysts perceive as his political ambitions. The general promotes the notion that Indonesia is besieged by “proxy wars” involving foreign states and even a renewed communist threat.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo said this month that the armed forces should stay out of politics and ensure their loyalty is only to the state and the government.

Indonesia, the world’s biggest Muslim-majority country, generally enjoys good ties with the United States although in the past ties between the two countries’ armed forces have been strained by alleged rights abuses involving Indonesia’s armed forces.

Reporting by Agustinus Beo Da Costa; Writing by Gayatri Suroyo; Editing by Ed Davies and Jacqueline Wong

Tokyo, Hong Kong lead Asia gains but dollar retreats

October 4, 2017

© AFP | With Janet Yellen’s term coming to an end in February, investors are turning their attention to who will take her place as head of the Federal Reserve
HONG KONG (AFP) – Tokyo and Hong Kong led gains on most markets in Asia Wednesday following a record close on Wall Street but the dollar eased slightly as attention begins to focus on the likely make-up of the new Federal Reserve board.

Investors are broadly upbeat about the global economic outlook and remain buoyed by the release last week of Donald Trump’s tax-cutting plans, while they are also looking ahead to the release of key jobs data on Friday.

With Fed boss Janet Yellen’s term due to end in February, investors will be closely watching for clues about Trump’s choice to take over — a decision expected to be made in two to three weeks.

The president has said he would decide after interviewing ex-board member Kevin Warsh, current governor Jerome Powell and two other candidates.

Analysts said the dollar would likely move in line with who is considered the favourite to take the helm, with Warsh seen as a fiscal hawk and Powell more in line with Yellen’s wait-and-see policy to monetary tightening.

“Markets rightly or wrongly came to the view late last week that Warsh was the front-runner, and viewed him — rightly or wrongly — as having more hawkish proclivities than Janet Yellen,” Ray Attrill, global co-head of foreign-exchange strategy at National Australia Bank in Sydney, told Bloomberg News.

But he added that talk of Powell taking the top post have “seen the dollar giving back a little of the gains” from last week.

The next key driver for forex traders will be the release of payrolls figures on Friday, which could provide more of a clue about the Fed’s plans for raising interest rates.

In early Asian trade the greenback was down against the yen and pound, while it also backtracked against most other high-yielding currencies including the Australian dollar, South Korean won and the Mexican peso.

It was up slightly against the euro but the single currency has come under pressure from political concerns as Spain is wracked with turmoil over Catalonia’s independence vote.

On equity markets the Nikkei in Tokyo ended the morning 0.2 percent higher, building on Tuesday’s gains to sit at more than two-year highs.

Hong Kong was up 0.8 percent, while Wellington, Manila and Jakarta all climbed. But Sydney dipped 0.7 percent and Singapore was 0.3 percent off.

– Key figures around 0230 GMT –

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 0.2 percent at 20659.12 (break)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 0.8 percent at 28,400.62

Shanghai – composite: Closed for a public holiday

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 112.63 from 112.84 yen at 2100 GMT

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1768 from $1.1749

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3260 from $1.3240

Oil – West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 36 cents at $50.06 per barrel

Oil – Brent North Sea: DOWN 33 cents at $55.67 per barrel

New York – DOW: UP 0.4 percent at 22,641,67 (close)

London – FTSE 100: UP 0.4 percent at 7,468.11 (close)

Thousands of Indonesians Hold Anti-Communist Protest in Capital — “President Joko Widodo is the son of communists and was not a Muslim”

September 29, 2017

JAKARTA — Several thousand protesters led by hardline Islamist groups held a rally on Friday outside Indonesia’s parliament to protest against what they called a growing threat from communism in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country.

Rows of police stood behind barbed wire with water cannons at the ready, but the rally was peaceful and the number of protesters far smaller than the estimated tens of thousands expected by organisers and police.

Some protesters prayed and unfurled banners rejecting communism and also a government decree targeting large organisations that was used to disband the Islamist group, Hizb ut-Tahrir Indonesia.

“The country is giving space to communists and their activities,” said one protester, Mohamad Khairudin, 42, who had travelled from Surabaya, the country’s second largest city.

“Members of parliament have communist sympathies. And at the same time they are limiting space for Islamic organisations and criminalising ulama (scholars).”

 Image result for Protest in Jakarta, anti-communist, September 29, 2017, photos

Khairudin said he tended to believe reports on social media that President Joko Widodo was the son of communists and was not a Muslim, but did not provide any evidence of this or of a rise in communism.

Widodo has denied having any communist ties.

Communism remains an emotive issue in Indonesia and the protest took place on the eve of the 52nd anniversary of the murder of six army generals and a young lieutenant by rebel armed forces personnel, which prompted the retaliatory slaughter of at least 500,000 alleged communists.

The massacres ushered in more than 30 years of authoritarian rule under Suharto, the former general who led the communist purge.

 20,000 security personnel guard anti-communist rally in Jakarta

Indonesia’s Communist Party (PKI), once one of the world’s largest, remains outlawed, however, and there appears to be little evidence of a Marxist ideology taking hold in Indonesia.

Just 12 percent of respondents to a September survey of 1,220 Indonesians believed the party was making a comeback now.

Analysts and government advisers said the fomenting of a “red scare” was aimed at Indonesia’s reformist president Widodo, who has previously been falsely accused of being the descendant of communists.

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“We support parliament in ridding itself of PKI,” Slamet Maarif, one of the rally organisers told the crowd, accusing the government of oppressive measures and of creating a gulf between the state and Islam with a decree banning some organisations.

Friday’s rally has been organised by hardline Islamist groups, such as the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI).

The FPI led huge rallies last year that successfully demanded the jailing for blasphemy of Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, an ethnic Chinese Christian who was Jakarta’s governor at the time.

(Writing by Ed Davies; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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Military personnel raid cafe in South Jakarta suspected of harboring communist sympathies

  • The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Fri, September 29, 2017 | 01:14 pm

Military personnel raid cafe in South Jakarta suspected of harboring communist sympathies A South Jakarta 0504 Military District personnel is seen with the confiscated red flag at the Garasi 66 cafe in South Jakarta on Thursday. (Courtesy of Kodim 0504 Jakarta Selatan/File)

Military personnel have confiscated a flag marked with the hammer and sickle logo, the symbol of communism, from a cafe in South Jakarta.

Nearby residents reported the flag to the authorities, South Jakarta 0504 Military District commander Let. Col. Inf. Ade Rony Wijaya said on Friday.

“We took the flag away on Thursday. The logo was small and placed in red fabric,” Ade said as quoted by kompas.com.

The military cooperated with Public Order Agency personnel, the head of the neighborhood unit (RT) and some members of local youth organization Karang Taruna in the raid on the Garasi 66 cafe on Jl. Pangeran Antasari.

The banner was found installed at the window in the room of the cafe’s owner, Burdani, who is being investigated by military officers.

“We see no specific intent. Burdani travels a lot to many countries. He thought it was the flag of China,” Ade said.

Burdani was released after his identity was recorded by officers.

The issue of a communist revival in the country is in the spotlight once more.

Hundreds of anti-communists besieged the office of the Foundation of the Indonesian Legal Aid Institute (YLBHI) on Sept. 17, accusing the organization of putting on a gathering associated with the now-defunct Indonesian Communist Party. (yon)

Anti-Communist Mob Attacks Indonesia Meeting, 22 Arrested

September 18, 2017

JAKARTA, Indonesia — A mob opposed to public discussion of Indonesia’s 1965 massacre of communists tried to force its way into a Jakarta building where they believed communists were meeting, injuring five policemen.

Jakarta police spokesman Argo Yuwono said 22 people were arrested early Monday for rioting and five officers were injured in the confrontation.

The melee came a day after police blockaded the building on Saturday to stop a public forum on the massacre, in which historians say half a million people were killed, from going ahead.

Bonnie Setiawan, an organizer of the forum, said about 200 people were trapped in the building, which is home to a legal aid institute, for hours on Sunday night while more than 1,000 people protested outside.

The protesters shouted that the people inside were members of the long-outlawed Indonesian Communist Party and threw rocks, breaking windows, he said.

Indonesia held a ground-breaking symposium on the massacre last year, breaking a half century of near silence on the issue, but the military, Islamic groups and senior figures in the government are opposed to unearthing the truth, saying it could revive communism.

The Indonesian Communist Party was the third largest in the world with an estimated 3 million members when an unsuccessful coup by pro-communist military officers in 1965 triggered a monthslong bloodletting by the army and Islamic groups that engulfed the country and ushered in the Suharto dictatorship.

Yuwono said police blockaded the forum on Saturday because organizers hadn’t requested permission for it.

Setiawan said police had violated the constitutional rights to freedom of association and assembly. The meeting on Sunday was intended as a discussion of challenges to democracy in Indonesia, he said.

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Fake news about communism in Indonesia blamed for triggering riot in Jakarta

By Jewel Topsfield

Fake news about Indonesia’s omnipresent bogeyman – communism – has been blamed for riots in Central Jakarta that injured five police officers and damaged vehicles in the early hours of Monday morning.

Police were forced to fire tear gas and water cannons to disperse anti-communist protesters who began to pelt police with water bottles and stones and attempted to force their way into the offices of the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute.

A weekend seminar on the 1965 anti-communist purge – a dark chapter in Indonesia’s history that remains extremely sensitive today – had already been banned by police on the grounds the organisers had not applied for a permit.

But this did not stop crowds chanting “Crush the PKI” (the now defunct Indonesian communist party) and surrounding the institute building.

The Indonesian Legal Aid Institute claimed “clearly hoaxes or false news have been broadcast … with instructions for attacking (the institute) done systematically and extensively”.

It asserted false claims included that the planned historical seminar was a re-emergence of the PKI and participants intended to sing genjer-genjer, one of the most controversial songs in Indonesia.

Genjer-genjer, which was adopted as a protest song by the PKI, was banned under the Suharto regime, amid military claims that female communists had tortured six generals while singing the song.

“People said we are PKI – that’s the hoax,” Muhammad Isnur from the Indonesian Legal Aid Institute told Fairfax Media.

“They said PKI was holding an event. It’s not true. We wanted to hold an academic discussion about what happened in 1965.”

Police have arrested five people suspected of provoking the riots.

Jakarta police spokesman Argo Yuwono told Fairfax Media that police had informed the institute that the planned seminar could not go ahead because the organisers did not have a permit.

But Mr Isnur said the police were “just making it up”. “Why would we need a permit for an internal, closed door discussion in our own office? We hold discussions every day.”

The 1965 tragedy was triggered by the kidnapping and murder of several high-ranking army officers, which was blamed on the PKI.

Last month Indonesian authorities disbanded a workshop in East Java on the findings of an international tribunal into the 1965 massacre – also on the grounds organisers didn’t have a permit.

In 2015 the Ubud Writers Festival cancelled sessions discussing 1965 – the first act of censorship in the history of the popular international event.

Amnesty International issued a statement last month saying there had been at least 39 cases since 2015 where authorities disbanded events related to 1965.

“These actions are a clear violation of the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly,” Amnesty said.

Asked if hoax news had inflamed tensions at the weekend, Mr Argo said: “Listen, if people get together to make speeches, discussion, dialogue, they must notify the police, this should be understood by people who work in the legal business.”

Fake news was a huge problem in Indonesia in the lead-up to the gubernatorial election in February, with much of it targeting the ethnicity of former Jakarta governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama.

Hoax news included that Indonesia was being flooded by 10 million Chinese workers, that its new currency bore an image of the banned communist hammer and sickle, that Ahok’s free Human Papillomavirus vaccine program could make girls infertile and that China was waging biological warfare against Indonesia with contaminated chilli seeds.

Smear campaigns during the last presidential election also asserted President Joko Widodo was a Christian and communist.

“Don’t forget, negative (news), slander, reproaching each other, hoax and fake news are spreading in social media today. They also become our challenge in the future,” President Jokowi told a group of boys scouts in Central Java on Monday.

Last month police arrested three people accused of spreading hoaxes against President Jokowi and Ahok, among others, on a “news” website known as saracen, which allegedly charges clients to publish and spread fake news.

“There is clearly a growing industry around the production of disinformation (false information spread to deliberately deceive) in Indonesia and elsewhere around the world,” says Australian National University academic Ross Tapsell, an expert on social media in Indonesia.

“Of course, Indonesia has a long history of government and non-government anti-PKI propaganda designed to incite and enrage,” he said.

“So the material may not have changed, but the technology used to disseminate it is changing rapidly.”

http://www.smh.com.au/world/fake-news-about-communism-in-indonesia-blamed-for-triggering-riot-in-jakarta-20170918-gyjuxv.html

Indonesian Woman Jailed for Suicide Bomb Plot at Jakarta Palace

August 28, 2017

JAKARTA — A Jakarta court has sentenced a female would-be suicide bomber to seven and a half years in prison, prosecutors and her lawyer said, the first time a woman has been convicted in Indonesia for planning such an attack.

Dian Yulia Novi, 28, was arrested late last year on suspicion of plotting to blow herself up outside Jakarta’s presidential palace during the changing of the guard. She was arrested along with her husband, Muhamad Nur Solikin.

Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation, has seen a surge in homegrown militancy inspired by Islamic State, and has grappled with a series of small-scale attacks in the past two years.

Prosecutors had demanded a 10-year sentence for Novi, whom they said received instructions to carry out the attack from Bahrun Naim, an Indonesian militant believed to be fighting with Islamic State in Syria.

“Her sentence was reduced because she admitted to her actions,” Novi’s lawyer Kamsi told Reuters on Monday. He said the verdict was handed down by East Jakarta District Court on Aug. 25.

Judges delivered the verdict earlier than expected because Novi is pregnant and due to give birth in early September, her lawyer said. She is detained at a Jakarta area facility.

Her husband is on trial for the same plot. His next hearing, at which he is expected to enter a plea, is scheduled for Sept. 6.

Kamsi said Novi, who was believed to be radicalized through social media while employed as a domestic worker in Taiwan, did not intend to appeal her verdict.

Police said they had intercepted a letter that Novi intended to send to her parents stating her intention to carry out jihad. Later an unexploded bomb was found in a room the woman had rented in Bekasi, about an hour outside Jakarta.

Counter-terrorism forces are worried that militants may be using new and more sophisticated tactics to try and carry out attacks – like recruiting female suicide bombers or using dangerous chemicals to make “dirty bombs”.

(Reporting by Stefanno Reinard; Writing by Kanupriya Kapoor; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

Sending drug dealers to God is my business: Police Chief

August 9, 2017
  • Callistasia Anggun WijayaThe Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Tue, August 8, 2017 | 07:41 pm

Sending drug dealers to God is my business: Jakarta Police chief

Jakarta Police chief Insp. Gen. Idham Azis (center) poses during an award ceremony held on Tuesday, Aug. 8 for police investigators who succeeded in foiling the smuggling of a record-breaking one ton of crystal methamphetamine, or sabu-sabu, in Anyer, Banten in July. (Antara/Reno Esnir)

The newly appointed Jakarta Police chief Insp.Gen. Idham Azis has vowed to combat drug dealers, especially those from other countries, and will take responsibility for his subordinates’ actions if they shoot alleged drug traffickers during raids.

“If the drug dealers want to apologize, it is their business with God. Sending them to God, on the other hand, is my business,” Idham said at the Jakarta Police headquarters on Tuesday.

Idham, who was inaugurated as the Jakarta Police chief on July 26, expressed his appreciation to the team of investigators that thwarted the record-breaking smuggling attempt of one ton of crystal methamphetamine, locally known as sabu-sabu, in Anyer, Banten last month. In the raid, investigators arrested three Taiwanese nationals and shot dead another alleged to have resisted arrest.

He asserted that he would also dismiss his subordinates if they failed to handle the mass drug trafficking in the capital.

Under his leadership, he said he would give all drug units in all police precincts under the Jakarta Police’s authority a month to crack down on drug dealers.

“There will be no compromises. If the drug unit chiefs cannot enforce the law against drug dealers, I will replace them,” he said.

Greater Jakarta has the highest demand for drugs of all provinces in the country, according to the National Narcotics Agency (BNN). The National Police announced that Indonesia had become the main target of international drug syndicates following tougher anti-drug policies imposed by neighboring countries like the Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia. (wnd)

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/08/08/sending-drug-dealers-to-god-is-my-business-jakarta-police-chief.html

East Jakarta suicide bombers linked to ISIS — Police say weakened local extremist outfits could get a new lease of life as fighters flee Iraq, Syria

May 25, 2017

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Image may contain: 2 people, selfie and closeup

Ichwan Nurul Salam (right) and Solihin, the suspected Jakarta bombers. Police are trying to verify the personal details of the suspects.PHOTO: INDONESIA POLICE

JAKARTA – The two suspects who killed three policemen at a bus terminal in East Jakarta on Wednesday (May 24) night in a suicide-bombing had ties to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the police said on Thursday (May 25).

Police spokesmen told a briefing the militants, who were killed in the twin blasts, had links to ISIS, and the bombs they used were low-grade explosives similar to the type used in a February attack in Bandung which was also linked to ISIS.

The first bomb was detonated outside a public toilet late on Wednesday, and the second near a bus stop some 10 metres away, police spokesman Inspector-General Setyo told reporters.

Police found an invoice dated May 22 from a store in Padalarang, West Java, for the purchase of a pressure cooker at the site, he said, as well as aluminum plates, nails, ball bearings, cable-switcher, and other bomb-making materials.

Insp-Gen Setyo said the attack is similar to the Bandung one, which was launched by a lone militant whom authorities suspected of having links to a radical network sympathetic to ISIS.

Earlier on Thursday a police source had told The Straits Times the Jakarta attackers were also linked to extremists in Poso, Central Sulawesi.

The source identified the first suspect as Solihin, an administrative staff at the Darul Anshor, an Islamic boarding school in Poso, and the other as Ichwan Nurul Salam, a 34-year-old man from Bandung, West Java.

Police are still verifying the personal information of the alleged attackers, the source added.

President Joko Widodo condemned the attack on Thursday.

“This is execrable. Ojek (motorcycle taxi) driver fell victim, public minivan driver, store sellers, as well as policemen,” Mr Joko told reporters in his hometown in Central Java, referring to the three slain police officers and 11 others injured, the presidential palace said in a statement.

The number of injured was previously given as 10.

While the police believe the suspects had ties to extremists in Central Sulawesi, counter-terrorism investigators are trying to establish if they were also linked to the remnants of the East Indonesia Mujahideen (MIT) militant group which operates out of Poso.

The MIT is behind several terror attacks in Indonesia since 2012, including skirmishes with security forces during which police officers and people in Central Sulawesi were killed.

MIT leader Santoso, also known as Abu Wardah, and another MIT combatant, were killed in the fire-fight last year. Santoso and his men from MIT had pledged allegiance to Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Three Indonesian policemen were killed and five other officers were injured after the two suspects allegedly set off what was believed to be a pressure cooker bomb near a bus terminal in Kampung Melayu, in East Jakarta, at about 9pm local time on Wednesday.

It appeared that the bombing followed a similar pattern of attack by domestic militants targeting local police officers in Indonesia.

The policemen had assembled to escort a scheduled parade organised by a community group in the neighbourhood when the explosion was heard, said the police.

It also came just three days before the Muslim fasting month begins on Saturday.

On July 5 last year, just days before fasting month was to end, a suicide bomber on a motorcycle blew himself up after he was stopped by officers from entering the local police headquarters in Solo city.

The bomber had used low-grade explosives in the homemade bomb, which like most improvised explosive devices (IEDs), contained ball-bearings and screws, and was trying to attack the policemen as they reported for their shift.

Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country, has long struggled with Islamic militancy. Hundreds of radicals from the South-east Asian state have flocked to Syria to fight with ISIS, sparking fears that weakened extremist outfits could get a new lease of life.

http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/east-jakarta-suicide-bombs-were-low-explosives-indonesia-police