Indonesian police or military officers may have played a role in the 2002 Bali bombing, the country’s former president, Abdurrahman Wahid says.
In an interview with SBS’s Dateline program, on the third anniversary of the bombing that killed 202 people, Mr Wahid says he has grave concerns about links between Indonesian authorities and terrorist groups.
While he believed terrorists were involved in planting one of the Kuta night club bombs, the second, which destroyed Bali’s Sari Club, had been organised by authorities!
Asked who he thought planted the second bomb, Mr Wahid said: “Maybe the police … or the armed forces.”
“The orders to do this or that came from within our armed forces not from the fundamentalist people,” he says.
The program also claims a key figure behind the formation of terror group Jemaah Islamiah was an Indonesian spy.
Former terrorist Umar Abduh, who is now a researcher and writer, told Dateline Indonesian authorities had a hand in many terror groups.
“There is not a single Islamic group either in the movement or the political groups that is not controlled by (Indonesian) intelligence,” he said.
Abduh has written a book on Teungku Fauzi Hasbi, a key figure in Jemaah Islamiah (JI) who had close contact with JI operations chief Hambali and lived next door to Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Bashir.
He says Hasbi was a secret agent for Indonesia’s military intelligence while at the same time a key player in creating JI.
Documents cited by SBS showed the Indonesian chief of military intelligence in 1990 authorised Hasbi to undertake a “special job”.
A 1995 internal memo from the military intelligence headquarters in Jakarta included a request to use “Brother Fauzi Hasbi” to spy on Acehnese separatists in Indonesia, Malaysia and Sweden.
And a 2002 document assigned Hasbi the job of special agent for BIN, the Indonesian national intelligence agency.
Security analyst John Mempi told SBS that Hasbi, who was also known as Abu Jihad, had played a key role in JI in its early years.
“The first Jemaah Islamiah congress in Bogor was facilitated by Abu Jihad, after Abu Bakar Bashir returned from Malaysia,” Mr Mempi said.
“We can see that Abu Jihad played an important role. He was later found to be an intelligence agent. So an intelligence agent has been facilitating the radical Islamic movement.”
Hasbi was disembowelled in a mysterious murder in 2003 after he was exposed as a military agent and his son Lamkaruna Putra died in a plane crash last month.
Another convicted terrorist, Timsar Zubil, who set off three bombs in Sumatra in 1978, told the program intelligence agents had given his group a provocative name – Komando Jihad – and encouraged members to commit illegal acts.
“We may have deliberately been allowed to grow,” he said.
Abduh also told the program his terrorist organisation, the Imron Movement, was incited to a range of violent action in the 1980s when the Indonesian military told the group that the assassination of several Muslim clerics was imminent.
Another terrorism expert, George Aditjondro, said a bombing in May this year that killed 23 people in the Christian village of Tentena, in central Sulawesi, had been organised by senior military and police officers.
“This is a strategy of depopulating an area and when an area has been depopulated – both becoming refugees or becoming paramilitary fighters – then that is the time when they can invest their money in major resource exploitation there,” he said.