Viewing cable 06JAKARTA9160
Title: GOI EFFORTS STOKE OPTIMISM FOR POSO PEACE

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
06JAKARTA91602006-07-21 10:00:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Jakarta
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OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #9160/01 2021000
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 211000Z JUL 06
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7592
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS PRIORITY
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 9754
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON PRIORITY 0961
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHHMUNA/USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 JAKARTA 009160 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/21/2016 
TAGS: PTER ASEC EFIN KCRM KHLS KPAO KVPR CVIS ID
SUBJECT: GOI EFFORTS STOKE OPTIMISM FOR POSO PEACE 
 
REF: A. A. 05 JAKARTA 07558 INVESTIGATION INTO POSO 
        BOMBING 
     ¶B. B. 05 JAKARTA 07862 TENTENA BOMBING (SURABAYA) 
     ¶C. C. 05 JAKARTA 14513 CHILDRENS' BEHEADINGS 
        (SURABAYA) 
     ¶D. D. 05 JAKARTA 14783 POSO VIOLENCE CONTINUES 
        (SURABAYA) 
 
Classified By: Classified by David R. Willis for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d 
). 
 
¶1. (C) Summary. GOI initiatives spearheaded by the Indonesian 
National Police (INP) are moving conflict-ridden Central 
Sulawesi toward peace, according to top INP investigators 
focused on the area.  The arrest of the terrorists behind 
many of the violent attacks since the 2001 Malino peace 
agreement--including last year's Tentena bombing and 
schoolgirl beheadings--are key to their optimism that a new 
peace agreement between the area's Christian and Muslim 
populations is in reach.  The previously shaky relationship 
between the INP and the Armed Forces (TNI) was repaired at a 
June meeting where they reached agreement on a broader 
INP-led strategy to rebuild public support for peace. 
Renewed INP attention and recent progress are reason for 
optimism; however, GOI attention must remain focused on the 
area long enough to smooth over communal tensions before 
extremists can launch fresh attacks.  End Summary. 
 
¶2. (C) Recently successful efforts in Central Sulawesi led by 
the Indonesian National Police (INP) suggest momentum for 
peace is building in an area plagued by over six years of 
interreligious communal violence.  Embassy contacts in early 
July, including INP investigators, point to the May 2006 
arrests of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI)-linked terrorists 
responsible for recent attacks, improved local INP-Armed 
Forces (TNI) cooperation, and renewed public support for 
peace as reasons for optimism.  The INP's Deputy 
Investigations Chief and top CT investigator, Major General 
Gories Mere, is particularly confident that recent 
developments will end the violence and signal a new beginning 
for the troubled area. 
 
¶3. (C) The 2001 Malino peace agreement brokered by now Vice 
President Jusuf Kalla ended the larger scale clashes that 
killed over 1,000 people from 1999-2001, but sporadic attacks 
have continued.  The worst attack since the agreement was 
signed occurred in May 2005 when a bomb killed 23 people and 
injured over 100 in a marketplace in Tentena, Central 
Sulawesi (Ref A and B).  Moved by the late October 2005 
beheadings of three school girls near Poso (Ref C) and 
frustrated by slow progress on several other near-by cases, 
INP Chief General Sutanto ordered INP CT Taskforce ("Team 
Bomb") investigators to Sulawesi in late 2005 to take over 
the investigations.  In January, the INP stood up the Central 
Sulawesi Security Operation Command (KOOPSKAM), a temporary 
investigative team led by Inspector General Paulos Purwoko, a 
seasoned INP investigator with a good reputation and a strong 
friendship with Mere. 
 
Confessions Link JI to Poso Violence 
------------------------------------ 
¶4. (C) The KOOPSKAM and Team Bomb investigative combo has 
been a one-two punch to cracking unsolved cases.  At least 
three of the JI-linked terrorists arrested in May confessed 
to a string of heinous attacks, including last year's 
schoolgirl beheadings and Tentena market bombing.  Embassy 
contacts have identified the main suspects as Hasanudin (aka 
Hamza), Lilik Purwanto (aka Haris), and Irwanto Irano (aka 
Irwan).  The INP reportedly transferred the suspects to 
Jakarta in early July and announced that they expected the 
trial process to begin shortly. 
 
¶5. (C) The INP released portions of the suspects' videotaped 
confessions to the local media in May, and we later obtained 
a copy from Nasir Abas, a reformed ex-JI Mantiqi III head who 
now works side-by-side with INP CT investigators.  In the 
video, each suspect separately described in detail his 
involvement in several of the attacks, uniformly citing 
revenge for Christian attacks on Muslims and government 
inaction as their driving motivation.  According to local JI 
expert Sidney Jones, who has extensively researched militant 
networks in Sulawesi, the three suspects are listed as JI 
members in documents uncovered by the INP during the 2003 
arrest of Achmad Roihan (aka Sa'ad, Mat Ucang, et al), deputy 
of Mantiqi II under Abdullah Anshori (aka Abu Fatih). 
Confirming their JI ties, Abas told us he knew them from his 
 
JAKARTA 00009160  002 OF 003 
 
 
days at JI camps in the Southern Philippines, and later as a 
mantiqi leader.  Under INP direction, Abas met with the three 
suspects separately for several hours after their arrest and 
convinced them to cooperate with authorities, leading to the 
taped confessions. 
 
¶6. (C) We have pieced together the following information on 
the suspects from media reports and Embassy contacts: 
 
-- Hasanudin (aka Hamzah) was arrested May 8 in Poso.  Since 
October 2002, he headed JI's Poso wakalah.  Hasanudin 
previously had spent several years in the Southern 
Philippines at JI's Camp Hudaibiyah.  He is married to the 
daughter of Adnan Arsal (also seen as Arsel or Arsol), a well 
known Sulawesi Muslim radical with ties to the violence 
there.  The INP interrogation of Ustadz Sahal (also Sa'al), a 
teacher at Arsal's pesantran, Al Amanah, led the INP to 
Hasanudin.  As demonstrated in his taped confession, 
Hasanudin is well spoken and fluent in jihadist rhetoric.  He 
is suspected of being the mastermind behind at least most of 
the attacks. 
 
-- Lilik Purwanto (aka Haris) was arrested May 5 in Tolitoli. 
 He is one of the operational planners in the JI Poso 
wakalah.  He is a suspect in the May 2004 assassination of 
GOI CT prosecutor Feri Silalahi, the July, 2004 assassination 
of Reverend Susianti Tinulele, and the November 2004 
beheading of a Christian village chief suspected of having 
been a police informant and embezzling government refugee 
assistance.  He also may have participated in the murder of 
Iwayan Sumaryasa with Ipung and Mhd Yusuf, both of whom were 
sentenced to nine years in early July.  He is originally from 
Sulawesi, and his confession suggests he has been deeply and 
personally affected by large-scale Christian-Muslim communal 
violence in the past. 
 
-- Irwanto Irano (aka Irwan) was arrested May 5 with Haris in 
Tolitoli.  He is a suspect in the 2004 Susianti 
assassination, the 2005 Tentena bombing, and the 2005 
schoolgirl beheadings.  Like Haris, Irwan is also from 
Sulawesi and likewise personally justified his attacks as 
vengeance for earlier communal violence. 
 
¶7. (C) Other suspects arrested by the INP in Sulawesi in 
recent months include Taufik (aka Opik) and Jendra (aka 
Rahmat, Asrudin).  Taufik was arrested May 8 in Palu and is 
suspected of involvement in the July 2004 shooting of Helmi 
Tobiling, the wife of a TNI soldier assigned to Sulawesi, and 
the schoolgirl beheadings.  Jendra was among those arrested 
May 5 in Tolitoli and is also a suspect in the Helmi murder. 
Abas told us that INP investigators had the names of other 
suspects tied to the attacks and planned more arrests in July 
and August.  Mere privately explained to us in early June 
that an INP informant close to the JI-linked Sulawesi 
militant group Anak Tanah Runtuh (ATR) had agreed to assist 
the INP in arresting at least an additional five suspects 
involved in the schoolgirl beheadings and Tentena bombing. 
Mere said in mid-July that Basri, a Javanese JI member 
associated with ATR, topped the INP's wanted list in Central 
Sulawesi.  Jones told us that approximately 15 out of ATR's 
estimated 20 active members remained at large. 
 
¶8. (C) The renewed INP activity in Central Sulawesi since 
January has frightened the area's concentration of militants, 
according to private comments to us by top INP investigator 
Benny Mamoto.  He said INP information suggested many 
jihadists in Sulawesi had recently returned to their homes 
elsewhere in Indonesia.  Also, many of the radical ustadz 
with known links to JI and its Al Mukmin pesantran in Solo, 
had abandoned their teaching positions in Sulawesi and 
returned to Central Java to lie low.  In further 
developments, Mamoto told us that Adnan Arsal, who is one of 
the more radical voices in that area, was publicly 
embarrassed by his son-in-law's publicized confession and had 
lost some of his charisma and grassroots influence.  Despite 
Arsal's participation in the 2001 peace accords and his joint 
statements with Christian leaders condemning specific 
attacks, Mere told us July 14, the INP believed Arsal was 
involved in orchestrating much of the violence and social 
friction but that the INP had not been able to build a case 
against him.  Mere compared Arsal's role in the Sulawesi 
conflict with the role of JI spiritual leader Abu Bakar 
Ba'asyir in planting the seeds of conflict. 
 
INP's Game Plan 
--------------- 
 
JAKARTA 00009160  003 OF 003 
 
 
¶9. (C) Mere, who is originally from Sulawesi, understands the 
need to gain public grassroots involvement and told us that 
the INP's current objective was to use the arrest of those 
responsible for the recent violence to convince local leaders 
that peace was in reach.  The INP still felt the sting of the 
botched attempt in April to arrest suspected Tentena bomber 
Taufiq Belaga (also Bulaga), when angry villagers had chased 
off the police and set fire to their motorcycles, an 
experience the INP did not want to repeat, Mere noted. 
(Note: The INP told us previously that the two policemen were 
local police assigned to surveil the suspect, not make an 
arrest.) 
 
¶10. (C) Mere took an important initial step when he reached 
out to soothe strained relations between INP and Indonesian 
military (TNI) leaders at a June 25 meeting in Poso.  Mere 
said militant groups have previously used disinformation to 
pit the TNI and INP against each other.  The new regional INP 
chief joined Mere at the meeting, as did Team Bomb Commander 
Surya Dharma and Nasir Abas, to brief TNI on the details and 
significance of the arrests.  According to Abas, both TNI and 
INP leaders agreed to seek public grassroots commitment to 
peace by meeting with local officials, religious leaders, and 
other influential figures in the conflict area to explain the 
arrests and urge them to actively promote cooperation with 
the authorities.  Once the INP is confident they have gained 
broader public support, a point Mere optimistically expects 
to reach in the coming weeks, the INP will move to arrest the 
additional  suspects. 
 
¶11. (C) Mamoto described to us an even more ambitious and 
longer term INP plan that includes a new peace agreement 
among the conflict area's various groups, reviving the 
economy, and bringing in moderate Islamic ustadz to 
neutralize the influence of radical and jihadist teachings, 
like those of JI.  Reaching beyond the typical law 
enforcement purview, Mere told us the INP continued to seek 
the support of other agencies under the Coordinating Ministry 
for Politics, Law, and Security, and had made direct appeals 
to Vice President Yusuf Kalla.  Mere said he had briefed 
senior GOI officials several times and received widespread 
agreement on the INP's recommendations, but so far had seen 
little to no action. 
 
¶12. (C) Despite some intricate connections among jihadist 
networks involved in the conflict, lack of a unified front 
among the hodgepodge of radical elements there may work in 
the INP's favor.  According to Jones, the noticeable absence 
of a JI chain of command beyond the wakalah in these recent 
JI-linked cases supports the theory that the JI organization 
is less hierarchical than before and that at least some JI 
cells operate with significant autonomy.  INP investigators 
hold similar views and told us they seek to exploit this 
condition to further divide and defeat the remaining 
extremists. 
 
COMMENT 
------- 
¶13. (C) The GOI decision not to renew the KOOPSKAM charter 
when it expired on July 3 was a testament to their confidence 
that authorities can maintain the current advantage. 
However, despite INP optimism, the authorities face an 
enduring legacy of violence, and the GOI's attention span has 
often been too short to resolve the underlying frictions. 
Although area's communities stand united against corruption, 
particularly that involving humanitarian aid for those 
displaced by the conflict, emotions on both sides run deep 
and potential sources of friction remain.  Broad economic 
disparities largely mirror religious fault lines, with the 
less prosperous Muslim communities lagging behind.  Many of 
the area's Muslims arrived via the GOI's transmigration 
program from more populated islands, like Java and Madura.  A 
proposal to create a new province in the area, if it comes to 
fruition over the next year, may further raise tensions as 
religious groups seek to balance representation.  As long as 
the issues remain starkly defined in Christian-versus-Muslim, 
Central Sulawesi likely will continue to attract the 
attention of radical Islamists outside of Sulawesi eager to 
fan the flames. 
 
PASCOE