Sunday, October 02, 2005

KOPASSUS terror in Indonesia

John Roberts and Peter Symonds, at WSWS, 22 August 2003, wrote about:

Indonesia's special forces, known as Kopassus.

According to WSWS, 'Kopassus has a proven record of terrorism—from the torture and murder of political opponents to systematic violence against entire populations in East Timor, West Papua and Aceh.'

1. In 2003, a Kopassus lieutenant-colonel and six soldiers were convicted over the November 2001 murder of Papuan leader Theys Eluay.

In West Papua, the army has helped arm and organise militia, including Islamic extremist groups such as Laskar Jihad, to terrorise people.

2. In 2002, Kopassus reportedly organised the attack on a group of school staff from the US-operated Freeport gold mine in West Papua that left three teachers, including two American citizens, dead.

3. Kopassus reportedly has links to various Islamic extremist groups.

4. Throughout Suharto’s reign, Kopassus were involved in kidnapping, torturing and murdering political opponents, either directly or through specially-hired thugs.

5. Kopassus are the shock troops used against separatist movements in West Papua, Aceh and other regions where tens of thousands of people have “disappeared”.

5. Kopassas were actively involved in organising the militia violence on East Timor in 1999 that resulted in the murder of hundreds of pro-independence supporters.

6. Kopassus helped train the Islamic fundamentalist Laskar Jihad fighters engaged in the communal violence in Ambon that left up to 10,000 dead. And their specially-trained “anti-guerrilla” forces are currently fighting in Aceh.

7. Writing in the Age, Dr Damien Kingsbury, a specialist on the Indonesian military, described the outcome of one of Kopassus’s two hostage rescue missions:

“In 1981 a Garuda aircraft was hijacked by Islamic extremists to Bangkok airport. The rescue mission freed 50 passengers and left dead three hijackers, one Kopassus member and members of the aircraft crew. Two captured hijackers, who left Bangkok with Kopassus alive, arrived in Jakarta dead,” he stated.

Kingsbury explained: “The history of Kopassus’s other activities reads more like that of a terrorist organisation, which is not surprising given that the techniques and tactics of terror are explicitly outlined in chapter five of a confidential Kopassus training manual.” He pointed out that Kopassus had actually been responsible for setting up the Islamic organisation Komando Jihad which carried out the 1981 hijacking.



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