Archive for counterterrorism

Will terrorism end democracy in Indonesia?

Posted in counterterrorism, ideology with tags , , , , on September 4, 2009 by admin

As the manhunt for Top hits one dead end after another, Yudhoyono’s top security personnel have floated some controversial ideas for improving their terror-fighting capabilities, ones that if fully implemented would have serious implications for Indonesia’s burgeoning democracy. For example, police recently announced that they would begin to monitor sermons delivered by certain Muslim clerics in an effort to identify any incitement to hatred or violence in the name of religion.

Is preaching in favour of murdering people in terrorist attacks considered “freedom of expression”?

Police later backtracked on the announcement after a backlash from religious groups and people arguing for freedom of expression, and they denied that security officials had already instituted the surveillance scheme. However, according to reports, police in Batam, an island near Singapore, have already started watching over sermons as part of stepped-up security measures during the holy month of Ramadan.

More controversial was the announcement by Inspector General Ansyaad Mbai, head of the government’s anti-terrorism desk, that he would seek legal power to increase from five days to two years the length of time for which suspected terrorists could be detained without charge.

This could be more worrying, specially because of the Suharto’s dictatorship (1 million killed in anti-communist purges) and the memories the population has of those times:

While a military approach to hunting terrorists might be more effective than sleuthing police work, proposed tougher anti-terror measures, including the suspension of habeas corpus, raise images among many Indonesians of the Suharto era’s worst abuses, as well as the excesses and torture perpetuated by US forces against Muslim terror suspects at Abu Ghraib in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay in Cuba

Surprisingly, they have not heard about Mesbah-Yazdi.


European Counterterrorism chief warns about seriousness of Islamist threat

Posted in counterterrorism with tags , , , , on September 3, 2009 by admin

The threat of an Islamist terror attack is still serious and should not be underestimated, the bloc’s anti-terrorism coordinator warned Thursday. “It would be a mistake to believe that the threat level has decreased significantly,”

Gilles de Kerchove told a public hearing of the Interior and Economic Committee of the EU parliament. Introducing his annual report, de Kerchove stressed that the global economic and financial crisis had exacerbated the threat.

And he pointed to this month’s general election in Germany as a potential risk.

Bogus interpreter manages to infiltrate UK counter-terrorism unit

Posted in counterterrorism with tags , , , on August 28, 2009 by admin

Red faces as bogus interpreter manages to infiltrate counter-terrorism unit – Telegraph

Everything appeared to be in order when the man turned up with an identity card assigned to an approved interpreter, Noor Mohammad.

However, when Mr Mohammad arrived on a subsequent occasion a senior detective realised his appearance had dramatically changed from a month earlier.

…he fake interpreter, named in court documents as Mian Ahmed Jan, is believed to have left Britain to live in Pakistan.

Mr Mohammad, 28, an expert in the Afghan dialect of Pashtun, has now been charged with six counts of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.

…”The work that this individual performed in relation to North West Counter-terrorism Unit investigations has been reviewed and there is nothing to indicate that any ongoing criminal investigations have been, or will be, compromised as a result of this.”