Determined to keep abreast of affairs throughout the country, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyon has installed a 'situation room' at the Presidential Palace. (Antara Photo/Widodo S. Jusuf)

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."
"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)
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Friday, October 12, 2007

Indonesia says 'soft approach' yields dividends in Southeast Asia's war on terror

JAKARTA (AP): Indonesia's anti-terrorism chief was relaxed as he mingled with guests on his lawn. Muslim hard-liners swapped tales of al-Qaida training camps in Afghanistan and the Philippines. Convicted Bali nightclub bombers feasted on kebabs.

The unusual gathering last month was a striking example of what has emerged as a key plank in Indonesia's anti-terror campaign: co-opting former militants as informers or preachers of moderation.

The evening party underscored Southeast Asia's progress in the fight against al-Qaida, five years after a devastating al-Qaida-linked bombing on the resort island of Bali stoked fears of a sustained terror campaign throughout the region.

"We approach the terrorists with a pure heart," Brig. Gen. Surya Dharma, the head of the anti-terror unit and host of the party, said in a rare interview with The Associated Press. "We are all Muslims. We make them our brothers, not our enemy."

On Oct. 12, 2002, two bombs ripped through Bali nightclubs, killing 202 people. Most of the victims were foreign tourists. This first major strike by Islamic extremists on Westerners in Asia thrust Southeast Asia onto the front lines of the war on terror.

Indonesia has since suffered three smaller attacks, the last also on Bali in 2005, and the U.S. and many other Western governments still urge citizens to avoid travel to Indonesia and the southern Philippines.

But foreign diplomats, analysts and authorities agree that the threat level is significantly lower today.

Police have detained most of the key figures in the region's main militant network, Indonesia-based Jemaah Islamiyah, and rounded up hundreds of other sympathizers and lesser figures.

The few terrorist leaders remaining on the run are still believed to be attempting more attacks, but they have few skilled accomplices left and are likely unable to communicate with them or get their hands on funds, officials said.

"The Indonesian police got their head out of the sand after 2002 and addressed it finally," said Ken Conboy, an American security analyst and author of a book on Jemaah Islamiyah. "They came in a little bit late, but they came in hard."

Muslim insurgencies fester in outlying districts of Thailand and the Philippines, though for now the militants appear mostly focused on local concerns rather than on Western targets.

Still, Asian security officials note they are up against an extremist ideology with deep roots in the region, especially in Indonesia where an Islamic rebellion first broke out 70 years ago.

"Even with their last ounce of energy and last dollar of funds, they will do something to prove they're not completely gone," said Philippine anti-terror official Ric Blancaflor.

The Philippines is battling the Abu Sayyaf militant group, which has been blamed for deadly bombings, high-profile ransom kidnappings and beheadings. At least two top Indonesian terrorists are also believed to be on the run in the country.

In Indonesia, the turnaround followed intense pressure from Western governments, which repeatedly warned that al-Qaida militants fleeing Afghanistan could find safe haven here.

The U.S. and Australia poured millions of dollars into training, high-tech surveillance and forensic equipment for Indonesia's security forces.

Regional authorities boosted cooperation. Thai police arrested Hambali, an Indonesian terror leader with strong links to al-Qaida, in 2003. Philippine police picked up another Indonesian militant, Fathur Rohman Al-Ghozi, in 2002, along with dozens of other suspects.

The Indonesian government also ended three years of fighting between Muslim and Christians in eastern Indonesia that had killed thousands and served as a training ground and recruitment tool for militants.

Also playing a role is what the Indonesian government calls a "soft approach" used in Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries, building up an extensive web of paid informants and former militants working to persuade hard-liners to change sides.

The party at Brig. Gen. Dharma's house brought together more than 20 hard-liners and former terrorists who had shown a commitment to helping authorities and expressed regret for their actions.

In engaging the terrorists, Indonesian authorities often exploit a long-standing rift in the militant movement over the morality and strategic benefit of bombing soft targets such as the Bali nightclubs.

"We were made into a demolition crew," said Mubarok, a guest at the party who is serving a life sentence for planning and carrying out the Bali bombings. "We did not stop to think, what if one of our family was caught up in the blasts? Now we are aware what we did was wrong," said Mubarok, who goes by a single name.

He and several other guests had been temporarily released from prison to attend the party, and the Indonesians were apparently so confident of their approach that no armed guards were seen at the house.

Those cooperating with authorities can expect shorter sentences, cash payments and medical care for themselves or relatives.

Few hard-liners will admit to assisting police and many still hold views that mainstream Muslims would consider extreme. Several appear to be motivated as much by financial reward as anything else.

"We learn who can be turned and look after them," said Col. Tito Karnavian, the head of intelligence at the anti-terrorism unit. "And they then recruit people. We call it 'creeping de-radicalization.' We should not treat terrorists all the same. We should learn their culture and then exploit it."

A few work publicly with authorities; one former Jemaah Islamiyah regional leader, a Malaysian named Nasir Abbas, occasionally briefs the media alongside police. Most remain behind the scenes, identifying a voice recording or photo of a suspect or meeting detainees in jail to challenge their views.

"It has paid dividends," said Sidney Jones, a leading expert on Indonesia's militant movements from the International Crisis Group. "There is an effort to engage them (the militants) in discussions, not just put them under surveillance."

The party at Dharma's house was timed to coincide with the breaking of the fast during the holy month of Ramadan. The prayers were led by Mubarok.

Ali Imron, another former militant serving life for the Bali bombings, said friends told him an unnamed cleric had issued an edict calling for his death because of his close links with police.

"Everything has a risk, but I have chosen my path," he said. "I am doing what is right."

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