INDONESIA: Cyber crime investigators on the hunt

Police seek out people behind terrorist website claiming responsibility for the hotel bombings

The Jakarta Post
Friday, July 31, 2009

By Dicky Christanto

A group of cyber crime investigators have been deployed to pursue those behind the terrorist website claiming responsibility for the recent bombings, National Police chief spokesman Insp. Gen. Nanan Soekarna, said Thursday.

However, Nanan refused to reveal details, saying that it could disrupt police investigations. The website claimed the terrorists had successfully orchestrated the bombing of the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels.

"All I can say right now is that we are already working on the case. So please give us some space so that we can conduct the investigation properly," he told a press conference.

Nanan said that even though initial information revealed the website company was located somewhere in the US, he acknowledged that this did not necessarily mean the website had been created by foreigners.

"People could have granted access to the website easily, so it is now our job to identify who constructed the website," he said.

Kusnanto Anggoro from the Indonesian Science Institution (LIPI) shared Nanan's remarks, saying "With today's technology, everyone can easily make websites. The difficult part is tracking them down."

However he did comment on terrorists and their use of modern technology.

"I personally do not believe the site was created by the bombing masterminds. However, if it turns out to be true [that the blog site was created by the terrorists] then it must have been created with a number of other objectives," he said.

Kusnanto further said the first objective could have been to increase their bargaining power with the government and to intensify the effect of terror on both the government and the victims.

To date, the police have arrested several men for their alleged involvement in the bombings, which killed nine people, including seven foreigners, and injured 55 others. Some of these arrests were made in Kuningan, West Java and Halmahera, North Maluku.

However, Nanan also declined to confirm the arrests, saying that any confirmation could disrupt the police investigation.

"Please understand that everything will be revealed to the public, but not while we are still investigating the case. One slight mistake could jeopardize the whole operation and cause bigger losses to our country," he said.

When asked about the whereabouts of Ibrohim, a florist believed to have been involved in the case, Nanan had also remained tight-lipped.

"My comment is just this...that I would like to warn security officers to be more careful in recruiting new staff in the future," he said figuratively.

Ibrohim, who worked at the Ritz- Carlton hotel, disappeared after the bombing incidents. He has been pursued by the police for his alleged role as the inside man who provided a way for the terrorists to smuggle explosive materials into the hotel building.