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Indonesian police beef up security at Apec as threats linger
Publication Date : 25-09-2013
The National Police said on Tuesday they were ready to protect the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit in Nusa Dua, Bali, next month, despite struggling to solve a series of shooting incidents believed to be terror attacks.
The police will deploy 4,924 personnel, including intelligence officers and the Densus 88 counterterrorism squad, to safeguard the international event.
The personnel will comprise 3,855 Bali Police officers and 1,069 officers from National Police headquarters in Jakarta. Among them are 20 intelligence officers, 20 Densus 88 personnel and 210 bomb squad members.
National Police chief Gen. Timur Pradopo previously said that the force had placed the security of Apec as its top priority.
Twenty-one heads of government, including US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin, will attend the summit, which will run from Oct. 1 to 8.
The police estimate that 5,000 Apec delegates, 1,500 journalists and 400 business leaders will attend the event.
National Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Hilman Thayib said that the police, in cooperation with the Indonesian Military (TNI) and the Bali administration, were ready to anticipate terror attacks.
“We will implement tight security measures for the event. The force, in particular the bomb squad, will make sure that no explosives or weapons can be smuggled into the venues,” he said on Tuesday.
The preparations for Apec come as Indonesia deals with a spate of unresolved shootings and small-scale bomb attacks over the past two months that have left four police officers dead and two others injured.
The latest incident occurred early this month when a policeman was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in front of the headquarters of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in South Jakarta.
Terrorism experts have suggested the shootings were probably perpetrated by the followers of Abu Roban, a high-profile terrorist who was gunned down by Densus 88 in May.
Over the last two weeks, an armed gang has robbed three gold shops in Medan, North Sumatra. The police have not yet confirmed the robberies were related to terrorism, but there has been speculation that escaped terrorist convict Fadli Sadama is behind the robberies.
Fadli, who escaped from Medan’s Tanjung Gusta Penitentiary in July, was found guilty of masterminding a robbery at a CIMB Niaga Bank branch and an attack on the Hamparan Perak Police station in Deli Serdang regency in 2010.
Apart from hunting for Fadli, the police are still trying to locate 250 sticks of dynamite that were stolen while being transported to a mining company in Bogor, West Java, in June.
They were part of a total consignment of 10,000 sticks of dynamite, 30 kilogrammes of ammonium nitrate and 4,000 detonators being carried in four trucks. The police suspect that the dynamite was stolen by a gang of conventional thieves rather than terrorists.
Separately, TNI spokesman Rear Adm. Iskandar Sitompul said that the army, Air Force and Navy would deploy special forces and a flotilla to oversee the Bali summit.
“The special squads are from the army [Kopassus], the Air Force [Korpaskhas] and the Navy. We have prepared several warships, helicopters and planes to patrol around Bali,” he said in a telephone interview, while declining to specify the number of personnel or vessels deployed for the event.
Iskandar said that all security measures at Apec would be coordinated by a joint team co-chaired by the army’s education and training chief Let. Gen. Lodewijk F.
Paulus and National Police security maintenance chief Comr. Gen. Badrodin Haiti.