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The Bombs Exploding Around Us

Monday, 18 October 2010

Commander of the Police Headquarters Chemical and Biological Forensic Team, Superintendent Marsudi, concluded that the bomb that exploded at the Jakarta Stock Exchange Building was either C3 or C4.  When giving a statement to the press in Jakarta, Roesdihardjo confirmed that a second bomb found on the third floor of the Circular Office of the Attorney General had been dismantled by the Indonesian Police Explosive Disposal Team (Tim Gegana) and found to be manufactured by Pindad.  “So it is extremely dangerous because it is military standard”, he explained.

Likewise, the bomb that exploded in front of the residence of the Philippine Ambassador Leonides T Caday was a high explosive, type C4, which according to statements made by Rusdiharjo and by the Philippine Minster of Foreign Affairs was smuggled in from the Philippines.  Chief of Jakarta Metropolitan Police, Inspector General Nurfaizi was also of the opinion that this was a C4 type bomb, seldom found in Indonesia.

All the explosives found were clearly very dangerous types of explosives, which only few people have access to and the ability to operate.  Only members of the military have access to and the ability to operate these explosives.  However, Commander of the Army Information Unit, Brigadier General FX Bachtiar refutes this accusation. “Finding a bomb labelled ‘M One (M-1) is not an accurate indicator of who is culpable,” said Bachitar.  He admitted that Pindad used to produce military equipment for the armed forces, but that now it is a state enterprise called PT Pindad, which is under the auspices of the Office of the Minister for Research and Technology.  So, Pindad products are no longer monopolised by the military, specifically the army.

However, evidence from the statement made by Rusdiharjo is substantiated by a statement made by PT Pindad to the effect that this explosive was indeed made by a factory owned by PT Pindad in Turen, Malang, East Java.  This explosive, which had the code TNT 160 Gram Lot No 1/96 was made to order for the Indonesian Army and was officially delivered to the Indonesian National Forces (Army) Directorate of Equipment on December 30 1996.  This explosive was then distributed to the Indonesian Armed Forces (Army) Central Ammunition Warehouse II in Saradan, Madiun, East Java.  “The identity of this bomb is clear.  The owner just needs to admit to it,” said an investigator.

Bachtiar continues to maintain that according to procedure, all goods entering the warehouse are recorded, as are their exit and use, both for training and operations.  In response to the statement made by Pindad that M-1 had been distributed to a unit of the army and the Police confirmation that the bomb belonged to the army, Bachtiar said, “It is clear that the logistics mechanism for ordering military equipment for a unit is done from the lowest level, such as a battalion, which submits the order to the Brigade, and this is then sent on to the logistics division, and finally to Army Headquarters. Not all requests are immediately approved, there will be an inquiry first to determine whether or not the equipment is really needed.  In the Indonesian Army, the different components of explosives are stored separately, in the interests of safety. The gunpowder and detonator warehouses, for instance, are separate.  Likewise, guns and ammunition.  If that M-1 bomb really came from there, confirm that there”.

Prior to this, Pindad Public Relations Officer, Timbul Sitompul, also denied that this bomb had been manufactured by this state enterprise. “Pindad does not manufacture bombs.  We only produce firearms such as SS1, FN, ammunition, police equipment and also fireworks for to be used as flares and for parties,”, he explained.

Clearly, whoever owns them, these bombs have claimed innocent lives.  From a humanitarian perspective, just one death is enough to demonstrate the brutality of “the executor”.   Even more so when these incidents not only claim lives, but also destroy the feeling of safety that the state should in fact guarantee.  The stubborn attitude of the Commander of the Army Information Unit to not take into account the evidence of army involvement is clearly unjustifiable.  As the only institution with the capacity to use firearms, the Indonesian National Forces should be more open in its response to the efforts to investigate these bombings.

The police, as the executor of order and security should be able to continue its investigation, even to the point of making a full investigation into the powers that evidence suggests were involved in these bombings, for instance making an investigation into the Logistics Division, which is responsible for distributing military equipment.  In addition, the military also must be willing to cooperate by making investigations into the members of the military involved, and by imposing military sanctions.

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