Inherited Jihadism: Like Father, Like Son
Inherited Jihadism: Like Father, Like Son
Indonesia's Police: The Problem of Deadly Force
Indonesia's Police: The Problem of Deadly Force
Op-Ed / Asia

Inherited Jihadism: Like Father, Like Son

With the arrests of two top Jemaah Islamiyah leaders in Indonesia last month, all the attention was on the adults in the organisation. We should be thinking about their children.

We already have two generations of sons who followed their fathers' footsteps but had access to ideas and technologies that their fathers never dreamed of.  We need to ensure that the career options of a third generation do not include terrorism, and that means thinking as much in terms of social work as law enforcement.

A few weeks ago Abu Dujana's eight-year-old son, Sidik, testified before the Indonesian parliament about how police shot his father in the leg after he had already been captured.  However valid are concerns about police procedure, that child, egged on by his mother, is a perfect candidate for carrying on the JI tradition. The chances that he sees his father as a role model are high.

We already have inherited jihadism. One top JI leader, Abu Rusdan, now in his late 40s, is the son of a man imprisoned by Soeharto in the early 1980s for involvement in Darul Islam, the Islamic rebellion that gave birth to JI. At the age of 15 his son was inducted into the father's organisation. Abu Jibril, a contemporary of Abu Rusdan, supervised the creation of a JI cell in Karachi, Pakistan that consisted of his own son, Mohamed, and the siblings of several fellow JI members.

In the last three weeks, we've seen the police arrest a JI logistics supervisor named Taufik Kondang, whose 16-year-old son appears to have been working as an aide to Abu Dujana, and one of the young Australian embassy bombers was sent by his JI father, an Afghan veteran, to study bomb-making.

But it isn't just a question of the fathers providing inspiration. JI has a systematic indoctrination program that starts with pre-kindergarten playgroups and moves into kindergartens for Quranic study, Islamic elementary schools and a small group of pesantrens - religious boarding schools - across Java. The close family ties ensure that the children in these schools will grow up in a network where the parents have already bonded, and where the ideology serves to strengthen a social and economic network that could survive dozens more arrests.

We have cases where whole families have gone to JI schools. One of the men convicted in the Marriott bombing was the fifth of eleven siblings. In 2004, his youngest sister Aisyah, then 13, was attending a JI school together with her 15-year-old brother. Aisyah is now 17. Where is she now, what has she learned, who will she marry, and what will she teach her children?

While adolescent children and siblings of current JI leaders, particularly the boys, are likely to succeed them, there are some mitigating factors to be considered as well.

Enrollment in some of the flagship JI schools seems to be declining. This may be due to the stigmatisation of terrorism, but it may also be rooted in the restrictive environment - no music allowed, for example - or the lack of opportunities afterwards. One young man told me he realised he had graduated with no marketable skills and is only employable in other JI schools. He yearns for something that will fulfill his ideals of fighting for a just cause without violating his religious principles and earn him some money at the same time. It's also possible that some in JI families will see their brothers' imprisonment as a deterrent.

The jihadist movement could self-destruct, but we can't count on it, especially with the war in Iraq, a deteriorating situation in Afghanistan and Gaza, and the intractable Arab-Israeli conflict. International factors by themselves don't determine recruitment but they provide a critical backdrop.

How are we going to draw children out of the jihadist network before the indoctrination sets in? Here are a couple of ideas:

  • Work with educational departments of local state Islamic universities to map the  networks of JI schools and try to develop quality alternatives.
     
  • Develop an outreach  program for the families of those detained that might include subsidizing the children's education at state schools.
     
  • Encourage the local business community to invest in on-the-job training programs or youth activities in areas where JI schools are based.
     
  • Draw on experiences elsewhere. What programs were put in place for IRA children? Are there any experiences from the work with child soldiers that would apply to children schooled in jihadism?

If we see the problem of terrorism as being confine to the adults, we miss the long-term dangers. It's not Abu Dujana who could be a problem ten years hence; it's his children, who need to be shown a different path.

Op-Ed / Asia

Indonesia's Police: The Problem of Deadly Force

My four year-old daughter recently came home from her Jakarta kindergarten with a story about a visit to the school from the head of our local police station. 'If there is a robber and he's running away, the policeman will pull out his gun, fire in the air, and if he doesn't stop then he will shoot him in the leg', she recounted breathlessly.

I have spent 25 years working in and around conflict zones, including more than a decade in Indonesia. My reaction might not have been that of the average parent. 'That', I replied, 'is a violation of Perkap Number 8.' Needless to say, my reference to Police Regulation Number 8 of 2009 regarding Implementation of Human Rights Principles and Standards in the Discharge of Duties of the Indonesian National Police was lost on her. She thought the visit was great.

I had recalled Perkap 8 when re-reading the Hansard of the recent sparring between Australian Foreign Minister Senator Bob Carr and Victoria Greens Senator Richard Di Natale over the police shooting of protesters in Papua. But it is not just in Papua where questionable use of deadly force by the Indonesian National Police (INP) takes place. It happens across the country. And this was what Perkap 8 was put in place to prevent.

Article 47 of Perkap 8 says that 'the use of firearms shall be allowed only if strictly necessary to preserve human life' and 'firearms may only be used by officers: a. when facing extraordinary circumstances; b. for self defense against threat of death and/or serious injury; c. for the defense of others against threat of death and/or serious injury.' This is Indonesian law, taken from the UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials, and this is what should be used to assess police actions, wherever in the country they occur.

The fatal shooting on 14 June 2012 of Mako Tabuni, deputy head of the National Committee of West Papua (KNPB), in Jayapura, capital of Papua province, made Senate Estimates in 2012. The shooting of three protesters in Sorong on 30 April 2013, West Papua province, was mentioned in the testy 5 June 2013 exchanges between Senators Carr and Di Natale. You can watch it above.

In the first incident, detectives shot a suspect in the leg as he was running away and then left him to die in a hospital allegedly without making any effort to treat his wounds. In the second, police claim they were threatened by armed KNPB activists. Without more information it is difficult to judge if their response was disproportionate. Police always say they are shooting in self-defense, but it has become such a common excuse that it has started to lose its plausibility.

Cases outside Papua do not garner much attention in Australia, but lethal shootings happen all the time. On 1 September 2011 seven villagers were killed during a rowdy protest against police brutality in the Central Sulawesi district of Buol, a place so obscure even most Indonesians cannot find it on a map.

On 7 March 2013, soldiers burned down a police station in Baturaja, South Sumatra, after their off-duty comrade, First Private Heru Oktavianus, was shot dead by a police officer while speeding away from a traffic violation.

On 8 May 2013 police in Java killed six suspected terrorists in a series of raids. The police usually claim the suspects were armed and resisted arrest. But it is not always true, and many could have almost certainly been captured alive.

Ordinary criminals are shot with distressing frequency, as my daughter's visitor suggests, without any outcry at home or abroad.

Perkap 8 was signed by the then police chief Sutanto, a real reformer. It has not gotten very far. One foreign police officer working on a bilateral community policing program in a large metropolitan command told me he had once seen a copy of the Perkap on the chief's desk but suspected it had been disseminated no further.

Even when progressive regulations or orders are issued and disseminated, they are not always followed. In October 2012, the police chief of Papua, Tito Karnavian, former head of the anti-terrorism unit Detachment 88 (Densus 88), announced that he had banned police from using live ammunition when handling demonstrations in the region. This was progress and it was implemented for some demos, but the deaths in the Sorong case suggest live ammunition was used.

As Article 46 of Perkap 8 says, 'all officers must be trained in the use of power, equipment and firearms that can be used in applying force' and 'must be trained in non-violent techniques and methods.' Training almost 400,000 officers across 33 provinces is a logistical challenge, though it might be a good idea to start with elite units such as Densus 88 or personnel in the Papua provinces.

The new national head of the INP, about to be appointed, might breathe new life into two reforms already in place: implementation of Perkap 8 and Chief Sutanto's other landmark regulation on community policing, Perkap 7. The INP is a very hierarchical organisation that does follow firm orders from above. While its size makes complex reform difficult, its hierarchical nature makes implementing existing regulations with firm orders easier.

The first duty of the incoming INP chief, who reports directly to the president, will be to secure the 2014 elections. Making sure those deployed to safeguard this 'festival of democracy' are properly trained and equipped to use non-lethal force will be an important first step. After a new head of state is elected, he or she should consider issuing a directive that would see Perkap 8 properly implemented. The use of less deadly force could even be politically popular in some parts.

Outside help may also be needed, and this is where Australia comes in. A few decades back, the Victorian state police had a problem of using too much deadly force and created Project Beacon to try to rectify it. They changed the way they thought about the problem, overhauled training, and gave officers on the beat new tools, like pepper spray. Foreign assistance along these lines could help the INP improve performance and increase accountability. Crisis Group has long argued that the INP needs better orders, training, and equipment for the use of non-deadly force.

If the INP is to be more the service it aspires to be rather than the force it is, it needs to shed its military mindset, hold serious post-operation reviews after each fatal incident, and decrease reliance on shooting first and asking questions later, regardless of whether officers are following locally accepted standard procedure. When the time comes and the INP is ready to carry forward the reform of Perkap 8, Australia should be there to help.

Subscribe to Crisis Group’s Email Updates

Receive the best source of conflict analysis right in your inbox.