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 600 Jakarta Brimob officers deployed to Poso

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BerichtOnderwerp: 600 Jakarta Brimob officers deployed to Poso    600 Jakarta Brimob officers deployed to Poso  Icon_minitimedo 29 jan 2015 - 6:53

The Jakarta Post, Palu/Jakarta, Thursday January 29 2015

A battalion of some 600 personnel from the police’s elite Mobile Brigade (Brimob) in Kelapa Dua, Jakarta, has been deployed to Poso, Central Sulawesi, to hunt the Santoso and Daeng Koro-led terrorist group.

The battalion arrived at Mutiara SIS Aljufri Airport in Palu very early Wednesday morning on three commercial flights.

Dressed in civilian attire, they were transported directly to the State Police School (SPN) in Labuan Panimba, Palu, to be deployed to Poso on Wednesday afternoon.

“They will be spread across a number of locations believed to be the hideouts of the armed civilian group in Poso,” Central Sulawesi Police’s spokesperson Adj. Sr. Comr. Hari Suprapto said Wednesday.

He said that with the deployment of the Brimob battalion, the terrorist manhunt was the biggest ever held in Poso over the last four years.

The operation’s main target this time, according to Hari, was apprehending the armed civilian group led by Santoso and Daeng Koro that had been terrorizing civilians in Poso.

Hari said the group had not hesitated to take people hostage or to kill them.

“In the last month, five civilians have been killed by the group allegedly led by Santoso,” Hari said.

Hari also said that in the last week, the group had started coming down from the mountain to enter villages in search of food.

“They took cassava and bananas from the people’s fields. They also went into the villages to steal food,” he said.

The latest gun battle between members of the armed group and the police-military joint force
in Tangkura subdistrict, South Poso Pesisir, according to Hari, had proved this.

Meanwhile, the National Police said Wednesday they were trying to unravel the Santoso terrorist group, which is currently based in Poso.

“We are trying to arrest those connected to him in small numbers to get to Santoso,” spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto told The Jakarta Post.

Last Saturday, the National Police’s counterterrorism unit, Densus 88, transported six suspected terrorists belonging to the Santoso group from Poso to Jakarta, where they were immediately transferred to the mobile brigade’s headquarters.

The group consisted of people who allegedly helped with the group’s logistics, provided funds and provided a meeting point for Santoso and his wife, Rikwanto said.

“We have already finished questioning them and they have been detained at the mobile brigade headquarters indefinitely until the investigators have gathered enough evidence for their case,” he said.

Rikwanto added that the National Police were still hunting down other members of the group, and he asked members of the local community to help the police in any way they could.

Poso witnessed sectarian conflict between 1998 and 2000. Over 2,000 people were reportedly killed or went missing during that time.

A peace agreement known as the Malino Declaration ended the conflict in 2001.

No large-scale conflict has since been reported in the region, however, new radical groups emerged there, including the Abu Bakar Ba’asyir-led Jamaah Islamiyah (JI) and Jamaah Ansharut Tauhid (JAT).

Ba’asyir is now serving 15 years in Nusakambangan prison in Central Java. He recently called on his followers to support the Islamic State (IS) movement.

In Poso, JAT built a camp in Gunung Biru, Tamanjeka, where it established an Islamic boarding school named Darul Ansharut Tauhid.

The group left the site after the police began hunting JAT members in the area.

Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Tedjo Edhy Purdijatno earlier said that military intelligence had detected the growth of IS in Poso.

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