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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid