News / Asia

Indonesian Authorities Announce Alleged Terrorist Plot Against President

Brian PaddenKate Woodsome

Indonesian authorities say they have found evidence that Islamic militants captured in a series of recent raids had planned to kill President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and other top officials.  

VOA's Kate Woodsome asked VOA's Brian Padden in Jakarta about the alleged terror plot.

Brian Padden:  "Today [Friday] they released intelligence they've gathered from some of the suspects that said these terrorists, these Indonesian militants were planning a series of attacks, including Mumbai style hotel seiges targeting foreigners and an assault on the president at an independence ceremony.   They also said that there were plans underway to assassinate the U.S. president, Barack Obama, when he comes to visit in June."

Kate Woodsome: The plot revealed today is linked to a group called al-Qaida Indonesia in Aceh.

Brian Padden: "Yes, this is a group that the government found out about at the beginning of this year. Local people in Aceh reported that there was some strange activity happening up in the northern part of Sumatra. And when police investigated it, they found that there was a Jihadi training camp.  They raided the camp. They arrested a number of suspects, killed some and the intelligence that they got from these series of raids revealed a whole new terrorist movement here in Indonesia.  In the past, the terrorists have been focused exclusively on inciting fear by bombing targets that were frequented by foreigners.

This new group wanted to change the discussion. They wanted to change the topic. They wanted to have more of a focus on getting public support for an implementation of Islamic Sharia law.  And to do that, they wanted to move away from broad bombings that also killed, through collateral damage, a large number of Muslims, innocent Muslims.  So, their tactic was to focus more targeted assassinations."

Kate Woodsome: "How vast is their network?"

Brian Padden: "Anti-terrorism experts are saying that the government has an upper hand. That there isn't a large number of active terrorists in Indonesia. But there should be some concern that these people have been allowed to operate and that they've been allowed to reorganize in the years since the last wave of bombings which happened just a few years ago."

Kate Woodsome: "The government has been conducting a series of raids on training camps and has made a number of arrests so, they're responding to threats. But what are they doing to prevent the spread of extremism?"

Brian Padden: "Indonesia has not declared a war on terror.  They are trying to manage the problem of terrorism as a democracy and as a police oriented problem.  So those that are involved in terrorism here don't just go to jail.  They go on trial for their crimes and whatever the sentence is that they have to serve after it is served, they are free to go back into the community.  So there has been some criticism of this.  But on the other hand, many people believe that this open prosecution of terrorism suspects has been the basis why the general public in Indonesia has totally rejected this kind of extremist behavior because they have seen these people say in public trials say that, yes, they bomb their fellow Muslim citizens."

You May Like

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to enhancement or regression of democracy for Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid