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Diposting oleh On 13.13

The bombers next door: how an Indonesian family turned into suicide attackers

Indonesia The bombers next door: how an Indonesian family turned into suicide attackers

A wave of extremist violence that unfolded in Surabaya this week had a troubling new element: bombings carried out by parents â€" and their children

The family alleged responsible for the Surabaya church attacks in Indonesia.
The family alleged responsible for the Surabaya church attacks in Indonesia. Photograph: Supplied

It was through food that the family of the Indonesian church bombers demonstrated neighbourly affection.

Families behind Indonesia bombings belonged to same religious study group Read more

Over the years, plates of fried bananas or steamed packages of rice stuffed with vegetables and chicken, were exchanged countless times over the fence. From their gardens in the Javan city of Surabaya, handfuls of moringa leaves or a few starfruit were passed over.

The afternoon before 42-year-old Puji strapped on a bomb-laden belt and walked toward the Indonesia Christian church in the city, she was again in the kitchen.

Wery Tri Kusuma and his wife last saw their next-door neighbour buying vegetables just hours before she blew herself up.

“My wife asked her what she was cooking,” recalls Wery, “‘Nothing special,’ she replied, ‘Just something for the kids.’”

Next door neighbour Wery Tri Kusuma, struggling to understand the terrorist next door. Facebook Twitter Pinterest
Next door neighbour Wery Tri Kusuma, struggling to understand the terrorist next door. Photograph: Kate Lamb for the Guardian

It is these seemingly mundane moments that Wery has played over in his head since the news emerged that Puji and her husband, Dita Oepriarto,were terrorists who were willing to use their own children as suicide bombers.

How could she do this to her children?

On Sunday morning last week the couple and their four children carried out three attacks on churches in the city of Surabaya, in the worst terrorist strike Indonesia has seen in more than a decade.

After dropping off his wife and two daughters â€" Fadhila, 12, and Pamela Rizkita, nine â€" at the Indonesia Christian church, Dita drove a car bomb into the Central Pentecostal church, sending it up in flames.

At the same time their two so ns, Yusuf, 18, and Firman, 16, laden with explosives, rode a motorbike into their target, the Santa Maria Catholic church.

The attacks, carried out over half an hour, killed 18 people, including the bombers.

Residents of the middle-class Wisma Asri housing complexare struggling to reconcile the facts.

“I knew them every day for years. Puji was a nurse but she quit her job at the hospital because she felt nauseous at the sight of blood, and didn’t like seeing people in pain. So how can it be that she did this to her children?” asks Wery.

View of the swing the Dita Oepriarto family’s nine-year-old daughter Pamela Rizkita or ‘Ita’ played on across from her house in the Wonorejo housing complex in Surabaya. Facebook Twitter Pinterest
View of the swing the Dita Oepriarto family’s nine-year-old daughter Pamela Rizkita or ‘Ita’ played on across from her house in the Wonorejo housing complex in Surabaya. Photograph: Kate Lamb for the Guardian

To his neighbours, Dita and his wife appeared normal. They were friendly and polite, reserved but involved in neighbourhood affairs. “Everyone was surprised,” says neighbour Annie Dhani, “They were so far from the profiles of what you would think a terrorist would be.”

In the afternoon their children would ride their bikes up the street, the youngest daughter would play on the swing.

Their father wore unremarkable clothes, jeans and T-shirts, nothing overtly Islamic, and ran a small business selling almond, sesame and caraway oil.

Nurul Ihsan, a tailor in Dita’s old neighbourhood of Tembok Dukuh, remembers the bomber as pious but not radical. He does recall one telling detail th ough: when Dita held events no Christians or Hindus were ever invited.

Birth of a new tactic

The church bombings were the first in a wave of extremist violence that has wracked Indonesia this week, and marks a new jihadist phenomenon â€" whole families, including young children, working together to carry out suicide bombings.

It is the first time a suicide bombing has been carried out by an entire family in Indonesia, and this week it happened twice, in the space of about 24 hours.

The aftermath of the church bombings in Surabaya. Facebook Twitter Pinterest
The aftermath of the church bombings in Surabaya. Photograph: Kate Lamb for the Guardian

After the church strikes, a fami ly of five, Tri Murtiono and his wife, Tri Ernawati, and their three children rode two motorbikes into the Surabaya police headquarters where they detonated explosives. Everyone died except their daughter Ais, aged eight, who was seated between her parents but wasn’t wearing a bomb herself in the attack on Monday.

Hours before, on Sunday evening, another bomb appears to have exploded prematurely in the Wonocolo apartments in Sidoarjo, in the home of Anton Febrianto, his wife Puspitasari and their children. In this case both parents and their 17-year-old daughter died. Three other children survived.

Police believe the three families were members of the pro-Isis Indonesian militant group Jamaah Anshurat Daulah (JAD) and met every Sunday for an Islamic study group where they watched extremist footage from Syria and Iraq that glorified violent jihad and martyrdom.

According to police, several children were homeschooled to limit their outside exposure.

The group was also influenced by the radical ideology of Kholid Abu Bakar, a former member of the militant group Jemaah Islamiyah, now with JAD, who police say mentored Dita and who remains at large.

None of the three families went to Syria but Bakar attempted to go early last year, although he was deported from Turkey en route.

Map of Surabaya

The direct involvement of women and children in the Surabaya suicide bombings comes as a “natural development” in Indonesia’s terrorism landscape, says Nava Nuraniyah an analyst from the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC).

“It is shocking, yes, because it is the first time, but if you think about it we have had women suicide bombers and we’ve had children fighters in Syria, so now it is all those things combined.”

In December 2016, an Indonesian woman planned to blow herself up at the presidential palace but was arrested a day before. A few months earlier, a convicted t errorist allowed his 12-year-old son Hatf to go to Syria with relatives. He died in combat alongside a French Isis unit, after which his father penned this eulogy: “Farewell, my little mujahid, Daddy and Mummy are proud of you.”

The ‘disease’ of terrorism

Former terrorist Ali Fauzi says the the children involved in the Surabaya attacks were probably indoctrinated over time.

When I saw someone like you, a white woman, I would think: should I aim for the head or the chest?

Ali Fauzi, former terrorist

“There would be a process of shaping those attitudes over time. It’s what I would call early radicalisation,” says the brother of the Bali bombers. “I am 100% sure the family agreed on what they did, that there was no coercion or lying. The motive would not be worldly but ideological, that they were all in it together for the sake of paradise.”

The reformed terrorist likens religious radical isation to a “disease”. “I used to have it too,” he says, over a plate of biryani, “When I saw someone like you, a white woman, I would think: should I aim for the head or the chest?”

Authorities believe JAD was behind the deadly attacks this week but is unclear who directed them. Some experts believe there could be a direct link to Isiswhile others say their actions were triggered by an extraordinary prison siege this month.

On 8 May more than 150 prisoners detained on terrorism charges rioted and seized control of three prison blocks in the maximum security Mako Brimob jail in West Java. Five police hostages were killed in the 40-hour standoff while a sixth officer was released alive.

Social media lit up with celebratory messages and calls for more attacks in the wake of the riot. Pictures later showing cuffed inmates being fed by police have also enraged extremists, who are said to want revenge.

In Tembok Dukuh village where he grew up, Di ta’s old neighbours are still coming to terms with what happened. One of the churches that was bombed is less than two kilometres away.

Karyono, a retired teacher who has known Dita and his family for more than forty years. Facebook Twitter Pinterest
Karyono, a retired teacher who has known Dita and his family for more than forty years. Photograph: Kate Lamb for the Guardian

“Maybe he picked those churches because he knew them well,” says Karyono, a retired teacher who has known Dita and his family for more than 40 years.

When Karyono saw Dita’s face flash on TV on Sunday night he ran directly to the family home. They were a mess of tears.

But after a devastating few days there wa s a moment of deep altruism he says, when the village leader, a Christian man called Eric, accompanied the church bomber’s parents to the police station to see about releasing the remains.

Karyono’s eyes well up as he speaks: “It broke my heart that after everything that’s happened, he was still willing to help.”

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Source: Google News Indonesia | Netizen 24 Indonesia

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Diposting oleh On 01.38

For now tourists welcome in Indonesia; visit offers endless possibilities

Duck man

The duck man walks his ducks up the road and sends them into the field to eat the little snails growing amongst the rice plants. It is quite a sight to see about two dozen ducks waddling along with the duck man following behind.

Gudeg warung

Yogyakarta’s gudeg is famous all over Indonesia. Gudeg is made by cooking unripe jackfruit with palm sugar, coconut milk and various spices for several hours. When cooked it is the consistency of stew and can be eaten alone or with accompaniments like buffalo, chicken or crisp beef skins.

I awoke to the sound of “adhan” and looked at the clock. It was about 4 a.m., and I was still feeling the residual jet lag caused by my journey from my Elmo farm to Yogyakarta, Indonesia. A distance of nearly 14,000 miles, considering flight time and layovers, the journey had taken close to 30 hours total.

During this trip I actually flew completely around the world as upon departure from JFK airport in New York I flew to Doha in the Middle East then onward to Indonesia. From there I continued on to Southeast Asia, then upon my return I flew from Bangkok to Hong Kong to Chicago then on to the Raleigh Durham airport. Total distance traveled was nearly 24,000 miles.

Adhan is the Islamic “call to prayer” which is heard in Islamic countries five times a day, beginning before dawn. Followers of the Islamic faith are expected to worship or “salat” at all five of the designated times. Adhan is broadcast loudly from the minaret of the local mosque.

Myself, as well as many westerners, often find the unusual chanting in a foreign tongue almost haunting. It would remain my daily wake up call for the rest of my stay in Indonesia.

Over 87 percent of the estimated 266 million inhabitants of Indonesia are Muslim, making Indonesia the country with the largest Muslim population in the world. Over half of the country’s population lives on the island of Java which makes Java the most populated island on earth.

There are over 700 languages spoken in Indonesia, but the official and most common language is a form of Malay. Around 1603 the Dutch established the spice trade with Indonesia before colonizing the country as part of the Dutch East Indies. Dutch architecture and street names are still quite common.

Indonesia has been a budding democracy for over 19 years with the next presidential elections planned for 2019.

Indonesia is a country made up of islands, over 17,000, as a matter of fact, with about 11,000 of those un inhabited. Indonesia with its thousands of islands is spread across the “Ring of Fire.”

The Ring of Fire is a large island located in the Pacific, and it is where more than 75 percent of the world’s active and dormant volcanoes exist. Indonesia has over 400 active volcanoes and records an average of three earthquakes a day.

My original travel called for my Indonesian journey to begin in the Komodo Islands, home of the Komodo Dragon, which are the largest lizards in the world. Males can grow to be over 10 feet long and weigh over 200 pounds.

After seeing the largest lizards in the world I had intended to spend some time in Bali often known as the Island of the Gods. Unfortunately, my schedule changed which resulted in shortening my original itinerary. Since I no longer had enough time to visit Komodo Island and Bali, I chose to spend my time near Yogyakarta (called Jogya by the locals) on the Island of Java.

Yogyakarta with a population of about 400,000 was by no means a small town; however, its size paled in comparison to Indonesia’s capital city, Jakarta, with a population of over 10 million people.

My home while in Jogya was a wonderful place called Alamanda Villa. My lodging was located just outside the city in a small village. I stayed in my own private “joglo” which is the local term for bungalow or cabin. As is common in the Indonesian style of architecture, my bathroom and shower were open to the sky. With the weather so pleasant, it was a very pleasant experience to take an evening shower and look up to see the moon.

My joglo was one of only six that were all constructed in the middle of a rice field with rice growing both to my front and rear. Workers tended the rice daily and periodically a local, “I called the duck man”, walked his ducks up the road and sent them into the field to eat the little snails growing amongst the rice plants. It was quite a sight to see about two dozen ducks waddling along with the duck man following behind.

From my front porch, I could look across the rice field and see Mount Merapi in the distance. Mount Merapi is considered to be the most active volcano in Indonesia and has been documented to erupt regularly since 1548. Its last major eruption was in 2014 when ash spewed up to a mile into the sky.

I was able to hire a car with driver during my stay at Alamanda, so each day my driver, Hastono Setyaji nicknamed Tono, and I traveled about the countryside visiting various attractions, businesses and farms.

The roads were generally paved and in good condition. Traffic at times was atrocious, and it wasn’t uncommon to share the roads with animals, people, bicycles, trucks, cars and buses.

Generally speaking the basic necessities of life in Indonesia were rather inexpensive. A typical lunch for Tono and I was just a few dollars. The local currency was the Indonesian Rupiah. I withdrew $300 in the local currency from an ATM and r eceived over 4 million rupiahs. The exchange rate was almost 14,000 rupiahs to one U.S. dollar.

We traveled to several fruit orchards where common fruits, like mango, banana, papaya and passion fruit were grown. We also visited orchards where fruits I had never seen nor heard of were grown, like soursop, mangosteen, sugar apple and snake skin fruit.

I was offered the opportunity to try all these unusual fruits. Some tasted very good, like mangosteen, and some not so good, like snake skin fruit. Indonesia has a plethora of exotic plants, many that I never seen anywhere else in the world.

Of course, rice was grown everywhere. It could be seen in both the rural areas growing in larger fields and in smaller fields in more urbanized areas. In the village near where I stayed, besides rice they raised fish in small ponds and a few cattle for meat and dairy. There was almost nowhere for the cattle to graze, so they were mainly kept inside stables. The farmer cut fresh gras s by hand each morning and delivered it to the cows to eat. The cattle were walked periodically, so they could get some exercise. I also saw sheep and goats, but of course, no pigs were to be found, as the Muslims find pigs dirty and don’t use them for food.

The Dutch introduced coffee production to Indonesia during their colonial rule in the 17th and 18th centuries. The country quickly became a worldwide exporter of coffee, and it was first exported to Europe in 1711. The island of Java is the largest coffee producing area in the country, and it is world famous for its top quality, Arabica beans. The word “java” has become synonymous with coffee around the world.

Certainly one of the agricultural highlights of my stay was learning how Luwak coffee was produced. I visited the tasting room of Pawon Luwak, a coffee plantation known for producing Luwak coffee. The Kopi Luwak is the name for a cat like animal (also called a civet) that lives in the jungles of Indonesia . The animals live near the coffee plantations and eat coffee berries which they are unable to fully digest. Most of the coffee berries end up passing straight through their digestive system and exit intact when they defecate. The beans are then collected, washed, roasted and made into coffee. The resulting product, often called “poop coffee,” is known for its rich smooth taste.

Luwak coffee is arguably the world’s most expensive beverage as it is made from coffee beans that sell from around $400 a pound and up.

At Pawon Luwak Coffee, I was able to see the animals and taste the coffee made from their “poop.” Though not a serious coffee drinker myself, I have to admit, the coffee tasted very smooth. I purchased a small bag of the beans as a gift for the farm manager to try upon my return.

Indonesia is home to many unique foods. By evening, on almost every street corner someone had fired up a small grill and was cooking satay. Satay was usually chicken, goa t or mutton marinated in spices and skewered on a piece of bamboo. After being barbecued over the hot coals, the tasty meats were served slathered in peanut sauce. It was really yummy and very inexpensive.

Another highlight was eating gudeg. Yogyakarta’s gudeg is famous all over Indonesia. Gudeg is made by cooking unripe jackfruit with palm sugar, coconut milk and various spices for several hours. When cooked, it is the consistency of stew and can be eaten alone or with accompaniments like buffalo, chicken or crisp beef skins.

I had mine with chicken and rice, and it was very good. It is found in local warungs (small restaurants), and one entire street in Jogya had nothing but gudeg restaurants. It was common to see diners purchasing small clay pots and having them filled with gudeg to take home for later.

Often found accompanying gudeg, as well as most meals, was krupuk, a deep fried cracker. I was able to visit a small factory that made krupuk. Krupuk was made by cooking up large cauldrons of tapioca with anchovy paste, garlic, salt and other spices. The ingredients were cooked down until they turned into a doughy paste than extruded into what looked like a round noodle. This was then formed into a small cake about the size of the palm of your hand.

The raw krupuk crackers were then taken outside where they were spread out on drying racks and dried by the sun. After they were dried, they were deep fried in a giant wok, left to cool and then bagged for sale. They were crunchy and salty with the slight taste of fish and a strong taste of garlic.

Like crackers they were served with everything and went really well with a cold Bintang beer. Bintang is the number one beer in Indonesia and has been brewed there since 1929.

I should mention that beer and alcoholic beverages were not very common nor openly sold in the majority of Indonesia. They were easily found in the major tourist areas but not readily available elsewhere.

Several years ago the sale of alcohol was banned in mini markets and small shops. This was primarily due in part to stem the rampant alcohol abuse that was plaguing the country.

However, since Islam prohibits the use of alcohol, there has been and continues to be attempts to totally ban production, distribution and consumption of alcohol everywhere in the country.

Likely the only reason that has not already occurred is the concern that a total ban will have a drastic effect on the tourism market, which currently attracts nearly 12 million visitors a year.

Indonesia is famous for a technique of dying cloth, known as batik, which is believed to have originated there. Selected areas of cloth are covered in hot wax, and then the cloth is dyed. The part of the cloth covered in wax remains its original color.

This process of dipping and waxing can be repeated any number of times to produce elaborate and colorful designs. I was able to visit one of the more famous factories and observe the technique first hand. It is very time consuming and labor intensive, but the results are very beautiful. I was able to purchase several items of clothing made from the uniquely dyed cloth.

There were several very special places in and around Yogyakarta. One was the Kraton of Yogyakarta. Kraton is Japanese for “royal palace” and is the residence of the “ratu” or ruler.

Yogyakarta’s Kraton is only open to the public in the mornings, because it is still an active functioning center of political activity. This Kraton is also the official residence of the Sultan of Yogyakarta and his family.

The sultan holds the title only in name and not in power since the Indonesian declaration of independence in 1945. However, the sultan, by virtue of his title, is the governor of the region and his home, the Kraton, is also used for official functions and political meetings. Since 1755 the title of Sultan has always passed from fat her to son.

The present sultan’s official title and name is His Majesty Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X. He is the 10th sultan and was born in 1946. He has no sons but five daughters. Recently the sultan announced he will break the 200 year tradition of having a male sultan as he intends to empower his eldest daughter as his replacement.

Though I didn’t meet the sultan, I met one of the palace guards. To be a Kraton guard is a great honor that stays in the family and is passed down from one generation to the next. The guards literally dedicate their lives to the protection of the royals, and once a guard, he remains so for life. Today in total, there are about 2,000 guards with about half that number being active.

When a guard gets older and unable to physically work he is looked after rather than being removed from service. The guard I met wore a sarong and carried a Kris in the small of his back. The Kris is a dagger-like weapon, but also for the Kraton guards it is considered a spiritual object and believed to possess magical powers. Those powers are supposedly bestowed by the special craftsmen that forge the blades.

Arguably the most famous attraction on Java is Borobudur Temple, the largest Buddhist monument in the world. The temple is listed by UNESCO as a world heritage site and is Indonesia’s single most visited tourist attraction.

Though predominantly a Muslim country, Indonesia has strong Buddhist and Hindu influences dating back hundreds of years. The Borobudur Temple resembles a nine-tiered mountain, and its top is 115 feet from ground level.

Believed to have been built between the 7th and 8th century, it said to have taken over 75 years to complete. The temple had not been well cared for over the years, and it had deteriorated badly in some areas. However, it was still very imposing.

While visiting the temple I encountered numerous domestic tourists from distant places in Indonesia. Many of them were unf amiliar with Caucasians, and it wasn’t uncommon to be asked to join in with various groups, so they could have their photo taken with me. It was rather comical to say the least.

Indonesia offers a unique travel experience, and I suggest anyone interested in the country should travel there sooner than later.

There is an upcoming political faction within the country that has been working on changing the existing laws to be more in line with followers of the Muslim faith. These changes may result in a less tourist-friendly country in the future. However for now tourists are welcome, and a visit offers many interesting possibilities.

Source: Google News Indonesia | Netizen 24 Indonesia

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Diposting oleh On 19.42

USNS Millinocket Marks First Navy Visit to Makassar, Indonesia

USNS Millinocket Marks First Navy Visit to Makassar, Indonesia

  • News
  • Logistics Group Western Pacific
MAKASSAR, Indonesia --

The expeditionary fast transport ship USNS Millinocket departed here today, marking the Navy’s first visit to the port. The expeditionary fast transport USNS Millinocket is photographed as it arrives in Subic Bay, Philippines. The expeditionary fast transpor t USNS Millinocket is photographed as it arrives in Subic Bay, Philippines, Nov. 21, 2017. The Millinocket recently conducted the Navy’s first port visit to Makassar, Indonesia. That visit “is a result of the strong relationship we have with the [Indonesian] nation and people of Indonesia," said Navy Capt. Lex Walker, commodore of Destroyer Squadron 7. Navy photo by Capt. Todd Kutkiewicz The expeditionary fast transport USNS Millinocket is photographed as it arrives in Subic Bay, Philippines. 171121-N-MB420-003 The expeditionary fast transport USNS Millinocket is photographed as it arrives in Subic Bay, Philippines, Nov. 21, 2017. The Millinocket recently conducted the Navy’s first port visit to Makassar, Indonesia. That visit “is a result of the strong relationsh ip we have with the [Indonesian] nation and people of Indonesia," said Navy Capt. Lex Walker, commodore of Destroyer Squadron 7. Navy photo by Capt. Todd Kutkiewicz Download Download Image Link Image details page

The Makassar visit served to strengthen the U.S.-Indonesia partnership, while reinforcing mutual commitment to bilateral and multilateral exercises and future port visits in Indonesia.

"The U.S. Navy's first-ever visit to Makassar is a result of the strong relationship we have with the nation and people of Indonesia," said Navy Capt. Lex Walker, co mmodore of Destroyer Squadron 7. "Our continued visits to Makassar will enhance the U.S. Navy's operational flexibility to remain forward-deployed while providing naval presence in cooperation with our regional partners."

U.S., Indonesia Security Cooperation

The Navy continues to work closely with the Indonesian navy through annual bilateral and multilateral exercises including the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training exercise series conducted since 1995, Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training, Pacific Partnership, and the Multinational Naval Exercise Komodo.

Millinocket's visit provided the ship and crew with an opportunity to experience Indonesian culture and conduct cooperative engagements with leaders from the nearby Indonesian naval base.

"As a vital port in the eastern Java Sea, we look forward to visiting Makassar again," Walker said. "The U.S. Navy values the close partnership with the Indonesian navy, and we look forward to even more frequent port visits throughout Indonesia in the near future."

Millinocket is one of three expeditionary fast transport ships in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility, and will continue its mission of providing rapid intra-theater transport while providing a platform for theater security cooperation exercises and engagements.


Source: Google News Indonesia | Netizen 24 Indonesia