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President says everyone must fight against terror

“Don’t just leave it to the police or military," says Yudhoyono

The president speaks to reporters before heading to London (Photo www.presidenri.go.id) The president speaks to reporters before heading to London (Photo www.presidenri.go.id)
  • Ryan Dagur, Jakarta
  • Indonesia
  • October 31, 2012
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President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has urged all Indonesians to unite in the fight against terrorism, following a spate of terror suspect arrests in recent months.

“I invite all of us to continue taking preventive measures so that acts of terror do recur in the future. If there are such acts, immediate action must be taken and the perpetrators must be brought to justice,” he said in Jakarta yesterday before departing for the UK  for a state visit.

“We know terrorism is something that we don’t want in Indonesia. Terrorism is a crime. No religion allows it,” he said.

He emphasized that families, community leaders, district heads, mayors and governors as well as the police and military need to work together to fight terrorism.

“Don’t just leave it to the police or military," he said. "Everyone has a responsibility and must take proper preventive measures.”

According to Ansyaad Mbai, head of the country’s National Counterterrorism Agency, terrorism has spread because of the growth of radical ideology, which needs to be countered.

“Radical ideology is spawning new terrorist cells," he said. "To Indonesians this will mean hard work. We can arrest some terrorists today, but at the same time many people are recruited."

On October 26-27, police arrested 11 men who were allegedly planning attacks on Western targets, including the US and Australian embassies, and Indonesian security bases. They were suspected of being members of an emerging terror group called Hasmi, the Sunni Movement for Indonesian Society.

However, a local terrorism expert dismissed this allegation. “Hasmi is a non-radical movement,” he said. “The terror suspects are former Hasmi members who then joined violent jihadist movements and established a new group.”

Another expert pointed out that Hasmi has been openly operating since 2005 and has its own school and community radio station. "They are not radical people," he said. They don’t agree to terrorism as they claim terrorism is part of bi'dah (heretical doctrine).”

Related report

Police foil major bomb plot
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