Indonesia: Fisherman help in anti-terrorism efforts

Denpasar, 21 Feb. (AKI) – Police on the Indonesian island of Bali have enrolled fishermen and villagers to help fight terrorism and prevent new attacks.

In an interview with Adnkronos International (AKI), Bali police spokesman AS Reniban, said that fishermen and villagers were needed to help because Bali’s 11,000 police cannot patrol the island resort's entire coastline.

He said they had been trained through the country's police-civilians forums.

"Policemen give proper information about the most wanted terrorists, how to detect terror threats, and how to recognise explosives," he said, stressing that the collaboration is voluntary and the civilians do not have judicial powers.

The police spokesperson said that villagers were required to report their findings to the police station in their village.

 “Then these posts will report to the central police in Denpasar if there’s a need to have prompt action, or else they will just file updates on criminal activities in their area,” he said.

Police claimed that the programme had been well received and that fishermen have been collaborating with them.

Reniban said that the forums were also used to educate and warn people against the danger of radical Islam.  

“We also give them books on radicalism written by Nasir Abbas. So that they know that radicalism is wrong and they won’t be lead astray,” he said.

Nasir Abbas is a former member of the terrorist organisation Jemaah Islamiyah who is now collaborating with the police in fighting radicalism.

JI, a terrorist organisation linked to al-Qaeda, has been blamed for the two terrorist attacks that struck Bali in 2002 and 2005.

The first Bali bombing killed 202 people, many of them foreigners, and injured more than 200 others. More than 20 died in a second bombing on the island in October 2005.  

A predominantly Hindu island, Bali is highly popular among western tourists, making it a tempting target for Muslim extremists.


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