Overview: Indonesia continued to detect, disrupt, degrade, and deny safe haven for terrorist groups operating within its borders. ISIS-affiliated Mujahidin Indonesia Timur (MIT), Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), and ISIS-inspired lone actors targeted police and other symbols of state authority. While not a member of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, the Indonesian government and Muslim civil society leaders continually denounced ISIS and actively promoted the importance of CVE efforts to complement law enforcement counterterrorism efforts. Indonesia pursued members of al-Qa’ida-inspired Jemaah Islamiyah connected to charity fundraising, legitimate businesses, or active in mainstream religious organizations.
2021 Terrorist Incidents: ISIS-inspired groups and lone actors continued to target civilians and law enforcement:
- On March 28, two JAD members executed a suicide bombing in front of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral Church in Makassar, South Sulawesi, injuring 20 people. • On March 31, Indonesian National Police (INP) killed an ISIS-inspired suspect after she fired an airsoft gun at police at the INP headquarters in Jakarta.
- In May, MIT members killed four villagers in Poso district, Central Sulawesi.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: On April 24, the coordinating minister for political, legal, and security affairs announced the designation of Papuan armed groups as terrorist organizations, but Indonesia has not to date added those groups to its domestic List of Terrorism Suspects and Terrorist Organizations. Human rights organizations raised concerns of suspected extrajudicial killings by Indonesian security forces in the provinces of Papua and West Papua as part of CT operations. Human rights groups also continued to advocate for reform of the 2018 Antiterrorism Law, citing concerns that provisions of the law that allow detention without trial were not in line with international norms. The Government of Indonesia in January adjudicated victims’ requests for compensation for damages incurred attributable to past terrorist attacks in Indonesia, in accordance with Regulation No. 35/2020 on Providing Compensation, Restitution, and Assistance to Witnesses and Victims, as an implementing regulation under the 2018 Law on Terrorism.
INP counterterrorism force Densus 88 reported the arrests of 370 terror suspects during 2021, 13 of whom died while resisting arrest or in custody. Densus 88 on September 18 killed MIT leader Ali Kalora while executing the joint police-military task force Operation Madago Raya in Parigi
Moutong district, Central Sulawesi. The government extended Operation Madago Raya (formerly Operation Tinombala) through December 31. Indonesia in April sentenced six suspects to death for masterminding the 2018 riot inside the INP mobile brigade command HQ detention facility in Jakarta that killed five personnel. The National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) said 13 Indonesian foreign terrorist fighters were repatriated from the Philippines and Malaysia in 2021.
Border security improved, but challenges remain. Indonesia’s Customs and Excise Directorate General has the capability to screen most international passenger traffic against INTERPOL databases. Indonesia also actively contributed stolen and lost travel document (SLTD) records to the INTERPOL global database through automation. Police and other agencies maintain watchlists of suspected terrorists, but lines of communication and coordination among stakeholder agencies were not always clear. The U.S. government is working in coordination with BNPT and other Indonesian border security and law enforcement agencies to develop and consolidate these efforts through the Watchlisting Assistance and Support Program (WASP).
Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Indonesia is a member of the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering. Indonesia’s Financial Intelligence Unit, the Indonesian Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center, is a member of the Egmont Group. Indonesia acquired observer status in FATF in 2018 and is on track toward full membership sometime in 2022. The nation is also a member of the Defeat-ISIS Coalition’s Counter-ISIS Finance Group. In 2021, Indonesia arrested, prosecuted, and convicted individuals for financing terrorism and added 17 entities to its List of Terrorism Suspects and Terrorist Organizations.
Countering Violent Extremism: Indonesia issued a presidential executive order on January 6, formalizing its National Action Plan for CVE. BNPT also managed “deradicalization” programs for terrorist convicts. Indonesians deported from third countries for attempted travel to Iraq and Syria were enrolled in a one-month deradicalization program at a rehabilitation shelter operated
by the Ministry of Social Affairs in Bambu Apus, East Jakarta. BNPT used former terrorists for CVE outreach campaigns and helped establish boarding schools to educate children of former terrorists.
International and Regional Cooperation: Indonesia continued to use the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation as a regional training center. Indonesia co-chairs the Global Counterterrorism Forum CVE Working Group with Australia, which has been extended until late 2024. The Australian-Indonesia Partnership for Justice Phase 2 (AIPJ2) on law and justice reform from 2017 to 2022 addressed the prevention of violent extremism. BNPT in November recognized the Hedayah Center for modeling the Indonesian experience in the treatment of children and families affected by violent extremism as a best practice in the Blueprint of a Rehabilitation and Reintegration Center: Guiding Principles for Rehabilitating and Reintegrating Returning Foreign Terrorist Fighters and Their Family Members. With support from the Government of Japan, Hedayah and BNPT in September delivered a capacity building program on Supporting Families in Countering Violent Extremism in Jakarta.
Indonesia continued to support CT efforts in several regional and multilateral organizations, including the UN, ASEAN, the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Intersessional Meetings on Counterterrorism, the ARF Workplan on Counterterrorism and Transnational Crime, the ASEAN Defense Ministerial Meetings (ADMM), the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights, and the APEC Counterterrorism Working Group. The United States and Indonesia cohosted a virtual workshop with the Republic of Korea for ASEAN members on terrorism watchlisting in November.