Kontras: Infiltration of Islamic groups will create public unrest

Detik.com – November 29, 2005
Kontras coordinator Usman Hamid (Tempo)
Kontras coordinator Usman Hamid (Tempo)

Anton Aliabbas, Jakarta – The plan by the National Intelligence Agency (BIN) to infiltrate radical Islamic groups to prevent terrorism could create public unrest. The plan will also cause a sense of mistrust in society.

This view was conveyed by the coordinator of the Committee for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), Usman Hamid, in response to a statement by BIN director Syamsir Siregar that BIN has no qualms about infiltrating radical Islamic groups in order to cripple terrorism.

“This could create unrest among the public, especially those who feel threatened as a result of this statement”, said Hamid at a press conference at the Kontras offices on Jalan Mendut in Menteng on Tuesday November 29.

Hamid also express regret over Siregar’s statement. “[Statements] such as this should not need to be mentioned because intelligence work is secret”, he said accusingly.

To date continued Hamid, the government has never explained what is meant by radical Islam, radical pesantrens [traditional Islamic boarding schools], extreme groups and so on. It is because of this that BIN’s plan to infiltrate radical Islamic groups will create mistrust between the public.

“The government should prioritise developing religious tolerance. These measure will instead be counter productive because to date terror has been identical with injustice”, said Hamid. (gtp)

[Translated by James Balowski.]