Viewing cable 06JAKARTA3898

06JAKARTA38982006-03-24 15:46:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Jakarta
DE RUEHJA #3898/01 0831546
O 241546Z MAR 06
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 JAKARTA 003898 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/24/2016 
        SEA CT 
Classified By: David R. Willis for Reasons 1.4 (B) and (D). 
¶1. (C) Summary.  Our March 1-5 visit to East Kalimantan 
province found security officials aware of the terrorist 
transit threat along the Sabah border, but meager resources 
prevented officials from implementing effective security 
measures.  Lack of GOI investment in securing this area -- 
despite a longstanding transit problem -- contrasts with 
official acknowledgement at the Presidential level of the 
presence of a terror threat in the region.  Local officials 
expressed interest in increasing their border control 
capacities and identified several existing efforts to improve 
interagency and cross-border cooperation.  Our visit came 
ahead of a U.S. sponsored 15-day bilateral maritime 
counterterrorism exercise in the Sulawesi Sea, arranged by 
the Embassy's Office of Defense Cooperation and the Special 
Operations Command - Pacific (SOCPAC).  Local police and 
immigration officials welcomed the exercise and showed great 
interest in future training that incorporated both military 
and non-military security forces.  End Summary. 
¶2. (C) East Kalimantan, Indonesia's second largest province, 
covers roughly 80,000 square miles, bordering the Malaysian 
states of Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo.  Its 
densely-forested inland borders are remote and largely 
inaccessible, but terrorist and criminal networks have 
exploited its loosely-controlled northeastern coastal border 
with Sabah.  The Sulawesi Sea region was identified in 
January by regional Chiefs of Mission as an area of 
particular concern. (Ref A, B) 
Terror Threat Mostly a Transit Issue, For Now 
--------------------------------------------- - 
¶3. (SBU) The local police and immigration officials with whom 
we met, particularly those closest to the border, 
acknowledged both the seriousness and the regional nature of 
the security threats emanating from this border area.  Over 
the last few months, police and immigration officials have 
arrested several Indonesians arriving via ferry from Tawau, 
Sabah, attempting to smuggle large quantities of detonators, 
caps, and detonator cord.  Though investigators have not 
identified a clear terrorist connection, the incidents 
highlight the urgent need for increased land and maritime 
border controls in the Sulawesi Sea area. 
¶4. (SBU) At East Kalimantan police headquarters in 
Balikpapan, Operational Bureau Chief N. Sutisna told us that 
terrorism had thus far remained a border transit issue for 
them and that there was little indication of radical or 
terrorist activity among their own residents, referring to 
the arrests of terrorists connected to the 2002 Bali bombing 
as an anomaly (Ref C).  (Note: In January 2003, Indonesian 
police arrested Ali Imron, Mubarok, and 12 others on remote 
Berukang Island, off the coast of East Kalimantan, where they 
had fled to avoid capture after the 2002 Bali attacks.  Both 
Ali Imron and Mubarok were later given life sentences for 
their involvement in the 2002 attacks.) 
¶5. (SBU) Although they have not seen signs of terrorist 
targeting in East Kalimantan, Sutisna said provincial police 
feared terrorists may eventually look to disrupt the 
province's economically-important natural resource extraction 
joint ventures with foreign companies.  Most of these 
operations are located in the southern half of the province, 
with relatively little economic activity, aside from illegal 
logging, in the northern border area. 
Few Resources Available to Boost Border Security 
--------------------------------------------- --- 
¶6. (SBU) Throughout our visit, police officials expressed 
eagerness to better monitor and combat terrorist and criminal 
transit of their areas, but said their scant resources were 
insufficient to effectively secure the border area.  Sutisna 
told us the majority of the province's 8,000 police officers 
were focused on criminal cases in the main population 
centers, adding that increased narcotics usage among the 2.5 
million residents had caused a jump in theft and violent 
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crime.  In separate meetings, police chiefs in the northern 
districts of Tarakan and Nunukan confirmed increased criminal 
case loads and told us they were barely equipped to handle 
routine duties.  Although Maritime Police units, which report 
to provincial police headquarters in Balikpapan, were posted 
in both Tarakan and Nunukan, the police chiefs there told us 
the small maritime units offered little overall assistance in 
patrolling the official piers, the numerous private piers, 
and the hundreds of informal coastal access points used by 
fisherman and other locals. 
¶7. (SBU) Just two-and-a-half hours by boat from the Sabah 
border, the island of Tarakan (pop. 170,000) hosts two weekly 
flights and daily ferries from Tawau, as well as national 
passenger ships (PELNI) and domestic flights from elsewhere 
in the archipelago that bring a steady transit population. 
District Police Chief Hariyanto expressed concern that a 
province of North Kalimantan may be created in 2007 with 
Tarakan as its capital, prompting an influx of residents that 
would further stretch the resources of his 200 police 
officers.  In our discussion, Hariyanto identified the 
following Tarakan police assets: 
- 2 patrol cars 
- 2 small covered pick-ups (approx. six person capacity) 
- 6 small motorcycles (approx. 100 cc each) 
- 2 small boats (50 hp and 75 hp; approx. 10-15 years old) 
- 1 small boat (50 hp) operated by a Maritime Police unit 
¶8. (SBU) In Nunukan, directly adjacent to the Malaysian 
border, Police Chief Tajudin told us his district stretched 
from Sebatik Island in the East to the densely forested and 
sparsely populated Sarawak border to the West.  Nunukan's two 
official piers host daily Tawau ferries; though Tajudin 
admitted the border could be crossed with relative ease using 
the many maritime channels.  He said he focused his 350 
officers on the islands of Nunukan (pop. 90,000) and Sebatik 
(pop. 20,000). INP maintains on the mainland a 28-person 
office in Sebuku and a 15-person office in Lumbis to handle 
illegal logging issues along the land border with Sabah. 
During our visit, we observed little economic development on 
Nunukan Island, and police officials confirmed that hundreds 
of the island's residents commuted to work in Tawau.  While 
at the district police office, the Nunukan police 
intelligence officer showed us the caps and detonator cord 
they recently had confiscated from two passengers arriving 
via the Tawau ferry.  The caps were in small green boxes, 
wrapped in plastic, and taped together uniformly into bricks. 
 The cord was red and in an 18-20 inch diameter bundle in a 
large sport-style duffel bag.  In our discussion, Tajudin 
identified the following Nunukan police assets: 
- 3 patrol cars (2 on Nunukan, 1 on Sebatik) 
- 20 small motorcycles (approx. 100 cc each) 
- 1 small boat (40 hp; approx. 10-15 years old) 
- 1 small boat (200 hp) operated by a Maritime Police unit 
- 1 small boat (80 hp; circa 1985) operated by Immigration 
¶9. (SBU) In separate meetings, Tarakan's Acting Immigration 
Chief Adnan Badwi and Nunukan Immigration Chief Ade Dachlan 
echoed the eagerness of the police to improve security at the 
official ports and to monitor other access points, but said 
the 30 immigration officers in Tarakan and the 70 immigration 
officers in Nunukan lacked the equipment.  Badwi, Dachlan, 
and Balikpapan Immigration Chief Tony Sinaga each told us 
that residents within 20-30 kilometers of the 
Indonesia-Malaysia border were allowed to cross the border 
using a special resident's pass (Pas Lintas Batas), which 
allowed them access to the same 20-30 kilometer area on the 
opposite side of the border.  They acknowledged these passes 
were easily forged and difficult to authenticate.  Passports 
were required for all others seeking to cross the border. 
Both Badwi and Dachlan said they maintained immigration posts 
at the Tawau ferry piers, though they did not have any 
security equipment, such as x-ray machines, metal detectors, 
or hand-held magnetometers, to check passengers and baggage. 
Dachlan told us he had redesigned the Tawau ferry arrival 
point to channel passengers to immigration, but said he 
lacked the support to maintain the perimeter, and passengers 
were frequently able to avert the checkpoint.  Dachlan also 
said he met in September 2005 with local Indonesian military 
leaders and Nunukan police to discuss the problem and watch 
video footage taken by Dachlan of the pier and other 
problematic areas.  A second meeting was expected in late 
March or April.  Badwi sounded a more optimistic tone in 
JAKARTA 00003898  003 OF 004 
Tarakan, where he told us biometric passport equipment from 
Jakarta was being installed and that his immigration post at 
the ferry pier actively used a laptop with a photo-capable 
immigration database.  He said the database -- updated with 
watch list information from Jakarta -- was compared against 
passenger lists and immigration forms received from the Tawau 
ferries.  During visits to Tarakan and Nunukan piers, we 
observed open, unguarded, or lightly guarded, gates and no 
checkpoints or security equipment. 
Existing Cross-border Security Cooperation 
¶10. (C) In response to questions about cross-border security 
cooperation, we were told that regulatory differences between 
Malaysia and Indonesia on issues like illegal logging 
inhibited better cooperation, but officials went on to reveal 
a surprising number of existing efforts to boost cross-border 
interaction.  Police officials also told us that a January 
letter from INP Chief Sutanto specifically urged provincial 
and district police chiefs to increase cooperation with their 
Malaysian counterparts.  Officials in Nunukan said they knew 
the names and phone numbers of their counterparts across the 
border, though both sides prefer using the official local 
liaison officer located in both Tarakan and Nunukan.  As an 
example of successful cooperation, the officials told us the 
arrests in recent months of explosives smugglers on the Tawau 
ferry resulted from Malaysian information that was 
communicated directly to Nunukan officials.  Local officials 
identified several joint programs: 
- Annual Bilateral Exercise: Indonesian National Police and 
the Royal Malaysian Police meet annually for the longstanding 
"Aman Malindo" joint police exercise.  The 24th exercise was 
held in December 2005 in Pontianak, West Kalimantan, and 
officials said one of the next exercises would likely be held 
in Nunukan. 
- Biannual Provincial Coordination: East Kalimantan 
Provincial Police (POLDA KALTIM) and Sabah's Royal Malaysian 
Police (PDRM Kontinjen Sabah) held a biannual coordination 
meeting in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, on December 1-4, 2005. 
Officials said meetings in 2006 are planned for June/July in 
Balikpapan, and for October/November in Kota Kinabalu. 
- Monthly Provincial Level Joint Patrols: East Kalimantan 
Provincial Police (POLDA KALTIM) and Sabah's Royal Malaysian 
Police (PDRM Kontinjen Sabah and Briged Sabah Malaysia) join 
with maritime police elements to jointly patrol the land and 
maritime border on and around Sebatik Island.  Officials said 
the joint patrol takes place on the 15th of every month, and 
has been in place since approximately 2000. 
- Aperiodic Provincial Coordination: East Kalimantan and 
North Sulawesi provincial police met with their Mindanao, 
Philippine counterparts in Manado in January 2006. 
Additional meetings may have been previously held in, or are 
planned for, Davao City and/or General Santos City, 
- Quarterly Sub-provincial Coordination: Tarakan and Nunukan 
police district leaders meet once every three months with 
their counterparts from Tawau and Keningau to discuss 
coordination.  Venue alternates. 
- Aperiodic Subprovincial Coordination: Immigration chiefs 
from Nunukan and Tarakan meet informally with their 
counterparts in Tawau several times per year.  Venue 
Indonesian Navy Welcomes Bilateral CT Exercises 
--------------------------------------------- -- 
¶11. (SBU) Our visit came ahead of a U.S.-sponsored 15-day 
bilateral maritime counterterrorism exercise in the Sulawesi 
Sea, arranged by the Embassy's Office of Defense Cooperation 
and the Special Operations Command - Pacific (SOCPAC).  The 
exercise, involving a U.S. Navy MK V Special Operations 
Detachment and the Indonesian Navy CT Unit (KOPASKA), 
included both classroom and field components conducted in 
Tarakan and in Bitung, North Sulawesi province.  Openness by 
Indonesian military leaders in Jakarta to future joint 
training in the Sulawesi Sea area was echoed in our meetings 
with the head of the Indonesian Navy detachment in Tarakan, 
Lieutenant Colonel Ibnu Parna.  Ibnu genuinely seemed to 
JAKARTA 00003898  004 OF 004 
welcome the interaction with U.S. forces and directed his 
officers to work closely with the U.S. Navy advance team to 
prepare classroom facilities and the Tarakan pier for the 
arrival of the U.S. Navy Mark V boats from the southern 
Philippines.  In our meetings, local police and immigration 
officials also welcomed the mil-mil exercise and expressed 
great interest in possible future training that incorporated 
both military and non-military security forces. 
¶12. (SBU) Although he generally appeared less conversant than 
local law enforcement officials on border security issues, 
Ibnu told us that one of the largest transit threats was 
posed by 'illegals' hitching rides across the border with 
illegal fisherman and loggers.  His area of responsibility 
includes the coastal regencies of Tarakan, Malinao, Bulungan, 
and Berau.  He said he currently has seven patrol boats to 
cover a coastline approximately 250 miles long and 8 miles 
wide that includes an estimated 25 official ports and 
hundreds of private piers and coastal access points.  When 
asked about cooperation with his Malaysian counterparts, Ibnu 
said he was not aware of any efforts along the East 
Kalimantan-Sabah maritime area. 
¶13. (C) East Kalimantan security officials made all the right 
noises regarding the border security threat and seemed 
genuinely interested in improving their coverage if the 
appropriate equipment and training were available.  The still 
poorly-regulated coastal border with Sabah, despite a 
decades-old terrorist and criminal transit problem, has been 
mentioned several times by President Yudhoyono in meetings 
with USG visitors.  He has cited East Kalimantan as a nexus 
needing joint attention with the Philippines and Malaysia. 
The current lack of resources to control traffic effectively 
at the province's official ports invites terrorist and 
criminal activity, as seen in the use of public ferries for 
cross-border explosives smuggling.  Monitoring the hundreds 
of informal coastal access points near the border presents an 
even greater challenge.  Our visit confirmed the utility of 
the U.S.-sponsored border control needs analysis suggested by 
Chiefs of Mission at the January CT meeting in Jakarta.  In 
contrast to the border transit problem, we found the general 
atmosphere in both Tarakan and Nunukan to be quiet and 
subdued.  Extensive interaction during our visit with local 
residents was friendly and non-threatening.