No International Terrorism Ring in Indonesia

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  • TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:Brig. Gen. Dadang Garnida, Secretary of Interpol in Indonesia, has announced that Indonesia is not home to an international terrorist ring. He added that the recent turmoil in Poso, Central Sulawesi, appears not to have stemmed from the involvement of international terrorist elements. “We're just stating the facts,” Dadang told the Tempo News Room from his office today (10/1). Chief of National Intelligence Gen. Hendropriyono had announced that international terrorists were involved in the Poso turmoil, but he later corrected himself. U.S. Deputy Minister of Defense Paul Wolfowitz made a similar statement recently in The New York Times. Dadang explained that some foreign terrorists had been operating in Indonesia, such as Iqbal and Hambali, both Malaysians. Iqbal was caught and sent back to his country, whilst Hambali is still at large. Dadang was uncertain as to whether their group was involved in an international terrorist ring. He said he could not make any conclusions due to the lack of evidence in these cases. In addition, Dadang said that the large trade in illegal weapons smuggled into Indonesia is difficult to control. For example, he said two illegal weapons had almost been smuggled into Makassar recently, though there was bound to have been others that were not detected by Indonesian authorities. According to Dadang, Indonesia's geography makes it easier for smugglers to operate here. He said the smuggling business obviously profits a number of different groups. However, he did not know which groups had received such illegal weapons in the Poso area. “We are still investigating whether there is an extensive terrorist ring at work here,” he said. (Retno Sulistiyowati)