Thursday, January 21, 2016

Following Attacks In Jakarta, Nine Victims Still Being Treated

Police and military continue to unravel terrorist attack as victims recover  



Nine victims of last weeks terror attacks on a police station and Starbucks Coffee shop near Sarinah Department store at Thamrin Boulevard in Central Jakarta are still undergoing medical treatment, police said.

"Two police officers who fell victim during the incident on January 14 last week have checked out of hospitals. 

The number of victims who were still undergoing medical treatment now remains at nine persons," National Police Chief Spokesman Insp. Gen. Anton Charliyan said on Tuesday.

Anton has previously accompanied the National Police chief, Gen Badrodin Haiti, during a visit to Abdi Waluyo Hospital in Central Jakarta to visit a number of victims who were still being treated.

The number of victims of the January 14 terror attack totaled 34, including eight who died.

Of the eight people who died, four are suspected terrorists, namely Dian Joni Kurniadi, Afif alias Sunakim, M. Ali and Ahmad Muhazin.

On Thursday (Jan 14), a terrorist launched a suicide attack on a police station at Thamrin Boulevard near the Sarinah Department Store, which was followed by a shootout between terrorists and the police at the Starbucks Coffee shop adjacent to the Sarinah Department store.

Within hours, the police were able to thwart the attackers, killing two of them, while two others died in the suicide bombings, one at the police station and the other one inside the Starbuck Coffee shop. The incident also left four civilians dead, 26 injured, including police personnel. 

A police officer with a police dog checks the Hati Kudus Yesus parish church in Surabaya, East Java, on Sunday

One civilian died at a hospital three days after the attack.

The dead civilians were Amel Quali Tamer, a Canadian, Sugito, a courier, Rico Hermawan and Rais Karna, who died at hospital three days later.

On Tuesday, Social Affairs Minister Khofifah Indar Parawansa also visited the victims at a number of hospitals.

The minister was accompanied by National Police Chief Badrodin Haiti during the visits to the hospitals.

Frank Feulner, a German national, is still being treated at the Abdi Waluyo Hospital after the attacks near Sarinah building, Jakarta, January 19, 2016. TEMPO/Imam Sukamto

The minister observed the condition of the victims at Cipto Mangunkusumo Public Hosptial, RSPAD Gatot Subroto Army Hospital, Abdi Waluyo Hospital and Tarakan Hospital.

The minster also handed out compensation assistance as tokens of the governments care and sympathy for the victims.

Police have confirmed that they are pursuing other suspected terrorists linked to last Thursdays attacks in Jakarta.

"It is true that we have made an effort to arrest (other suspects) in the bomb attacks near the Sarinah (Department Store), but we cannot yet give further information about it," Chief of the Jakarta Metropolitan Polices Public Relations Service Senior Commissioner Muhammad Iqbal said on Sunday.

He also could not disclose the number of suspected terrorists who have been arrested in the wake of the attacks or the locations of the arrests, since the investigation is ongoing.

Iqbal confirmed that the police searched the houses of people suspected of involvement in the Jakarta bombing.

He said Sugito, who was earlier suspected of involvement in the attacks, was a civilian who was killed in the attacks.

"Sugito, who worked as a courier, was a civilian. He was not a suspected terrorist," he said.

Indonesian military and police continue the hunt for the remnants of the attackers

After conducting an investigation, the police came to the conclusion that Sugito was a civilian.

Therefore, the number of suspected terrorists killed in the attack is four, instead of five, as reported earlier.

This news bureau contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

Turning Change Into Chaos

Bush began the destruction of the Republic, Obama is now endeavouring to finish the job  

By Graham E. Fuller

A renowned Arab religious scholar in the Fourteenth Century, ibn Taymiyya, is sometimes quoted as saying, Al-zulm afdal ‘ala al-fawda — “oppression is to be favored over anarchy.”

Although ibn Taiymiyya was no establishment figure in his time, this perspective was welcomed by all rulers since it provided explicit religious justification in support of arbitrary and often oppressive authority.

Maybe there’s not a lot new here: all rulers at all times and all places like to wrap themselves in the robes of religious, ethnic or patriotic legitimacy in order to maintain power. But there’s something else: ibn Taymiyya lived in a period when the holocaust of the Mongol invasions was sweeping across Asia and into the Middle East sowing destruction. 

It was a time of fear, widespread violence and war, calling for political caution. Sound familiar?

Is this thought, then, the product of a political reactionary? Or does it represent a fundamental insight into basic human psychology? Which of us, when confronted with anarchy in the streets — possibly getting murdered or kidnapped while simply going out to buy a loaf of bread — might not prefer authoritarian crackdown to unbridled chaos; where just staying alive is the best we can hope for in a precarious political and social environment?

Ask Iraqis who got liberated from Saddam Hussein, or Libyans liberated from Gaddafi. Or Syrians today. Might the ugliness of the earlier dictatorships not look better — where at least if you stayed totally out of politics your lives were fairly safe and predictable?

After all, when life, family, the social order and survival are at stake, our basic political values can get pretty rock-bottom conservative.

Sadly, these words from the Fourteenth Century Muslim world may be disturbingly relevant to today. It’s part of a political debate that reverberates through all of human history.

At the level of states, great powers tend to prefer order — virtually any kind of order — to chaos in the world in which they operate. That’s how dictators thrive and gain external support; even democratic states value foreign dictators who can keep the lid on.

The U.S. has rarely shrunk from supporting ugly dictators or regimes if it believed it to be “in the national interest.” (Unless that specific regime happens to be directly anti-American in which case terror, destabilization, or overthrow is welcomed.)

The U.S. is not especially worse than other major powers in this respect, but its global reach means that it engages in this particular kind of hypocrisy more widely and frequently than most other states.

But the chaos that flowed out of the U.S. overthrow of Saddam in Iraq, Gaddafi in Libya, and efforts to overthrow Assad in Syria, has not only inflicted massive suffering on the populations of those countries, but has left Washington (and the European Union) worse off than before — and spawned ISIS out of Iraqi and Syrian turmoil.

So, is oppression more tolerable than anarchy? And for whom? It seems even European and American publics — hardly experiencing anything at home that could remotely be called anarchy, are still willing now to ratchet up the level of police, military and intelligence surveillance powers to avoid even the possibility of any kind of terror incident. People will pay nearly any price if they believe it might make them safer. You don’t have to be a Fourteenth Century Muslim cleric to make that observation. So what is the message here, then?

One message is that liberalism is a delicate flower. We are disinclined to be more generous, open, tolerant or broad-minded when conditions are dangerous. We see this clearly in Western politics today — in the U.S. presidential debates, or in the mood of European societies in the face of refugees from the Middle East and Africa. Multi-culturalism and tolerance become unwelcome words.

It’s not just Muslims who think this way. It’s Chinese as well who have gone through political, economic and social hell for half a century of communist experimentation before emerging into the present era of relative prosperity and order under a Chinese government that runs a tight ship.

Nobody wants to hear suggestions for an overthrow of the neo-communist order there. Don’t rock the boat, let’s cherish and preserve what we have painfully gained and work for political progress, if any, only through baby steps. Few will risk known stability in the hope of gaining some abstract and untested improvements.

Along similar lines, why don’t Muslims call for huge overhaul of their interpretations of Islam in contemporary Middle Eastern states? When bullets are flying, calls for social and theological change is unthinkable; it’s safer not to address such volatile issues.

These arguments about order are fundamental to the philosophic conservative vision — the true conservative vision and not the grotesque caricature of conservatism that has hijacked most of the Republican Party in the U.S. today.

In the end almost all of us embrace this conservative principle to some extent: don’t rock the boat if you have a lot to lose. What we disagree about is how to interpret “rocking the boat” or “having a lot to lose.” It’s all a matter of degree. What risks will we take, what experiments will we undertake, for what putative gain?

I write these words with some trepidation since this conservative political philosophy has been exploited and used to justify atrocious policies on the part of all kinds of dictators around the world, as well as justifying unacceptable foreign policies of the U.S.

Looking at the world around us today, it looks like we are entering a new conservative age globally, driven by fear of chaos and the increasing spread of violence across so much of the world. Ibn Taymiyya would have recognized this phenomenon immediately.

This news bureau contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

WAYNE MADESN : Turkey’s Foreign Military Bases And Their Threat To Stability

CIA poodle Erdogan surrogate for Turkey/NATO expansionism    

By Wayne Madsen

Rather than view with alarm Turkey’s announcement that it is building at least three military bases abroad, the United States and NATO have welcomed Ankara’s move as a contribution to stability. Nothing could be further from the truth. 

Turkey’s duplicitous fingerprints are all over support for terrorist groups like the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Jabhat al-Nusra, and Al-Qaeda in Syria and Iraq, Ansar al-Sharia in Libya, and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Tunisia.

The plans by the Adolf Hitler-praising Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to build military bases in Qatar, Somalia, the Republic of Georgia, and Azerbaijan are in keeping with Turkey’s more aggressive and neo-Ottoman foreign and military policies. 

Turkey is also building its first aircraft carrier that will extend Turkey’s naval presence into the Red Sea and Indian Ocean.

The announcement that Turkey is building a base in the Republic of Georgia comes after the Turks announced plans for a military base in Qatar, where 3000 Turkish troops will be stationed, and in the failed state of Somalia, where the Turks already manage the port of Mogadishu on a twenty-year contract and are looking to take over operations of the port of Kismayo.

The plans for a Turkish military base in Georgia and a potential future Turkish base in Azerbaijan, perhaps in the Nakhichevan exclave between Armenia and Turkey, has prompted the mainly Armenian population of the Georgian regions of Javakhq and Tsalka to contemplate secession from Georgia and incorporation with Armenia. Armenians throughout the region have long memories about the Turkish genocide of the Armenian people in the early part of the 20th century.

Erdogan plays kissy-face with Qatar over military base

The proposal for a Turkish base on Georgian soil was discussed at a meeting in Tbilisi, the Georgian capital, of the defense ministers of Turkey, Georgia, and Azerbaijan. In addition to creating worries in Armenia, a Turkish base in Nakhichevan would alarm Iran, which has been wary of Turkish ties to ISIL and other Sunni jihadist groups.

In the past, Erdogan has stoked the flames of Azerbaijani nationalism against Armenia. In 2010, Erdogan said, "Military cooperation between Turkey and Azerbaijan and the NAR (Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic) is one of the major components of our relations." It is believed that Turkish liaison officers have for some time been stationed at an Azerbaijan military base already maintained in Nakhichevan. Except when separatism achieves Turkey’s own Islamist aims, as in Chechnya, Ingushetia, Karachay-Cherkessia, and Dagestan, Turkey has become the natural enemy of separatists in the Caucasus region due to Turkey’s own war against any notion of an autonomous or independent Kurdistan.

Ankara is also threatening separatists that lie at the heart of Turkey’s planned military base in Somalia, the official mission of which is to train the officer corps of the fledgling Somali National Army.

Emel Tekin, the head of the Foreign Ministry department responsible for Somalia, stated that Turkey is establishing a military base in Mogadishu

The first victim of the Turkish military in Somalia may be the de facto independent Republic of Somaliland, which has existed as a peaceful but unrecognized nation since 1990 when it broke from the brutal Somali regime of dictator Mohammad Siad Barre. Although Turkey allegedly tried to moderate between Somaliland and Somalia, Turkey's belligerent attitude toward separatists is well known in not only Somaliland but also in other separatist regions of Somalia, including Puntland, Jubaland, and others. These will be the initial targets of the Turkish military forces in Somalia.

Turkish ambassador to Somalia Olgan Bekar paid his first visit to Puntland in 2014 where he met the president, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali. In 2015, Bekar was present at the inauguration of the newly-engineered Central State in Adado. Abandoning his role as an ambassador, Bekar appeared to be taking on the role of an Ottoman viceroy in Somalia. The primary item for discussion was Puntland's re-integration into a federalized Somalia. In 2015, a Turkish business delegation, with Bekar's support, visited Jubaland, the location of the strategic port of Kismayo.

Ali's predecessor, Puntland President Abdirahman Mohamed Farole, along with Galmudug State President Mohamed Ahmed Alim, pulled out of a Somali peace conference held in Istanbul in 2012. Both regional leaders stated that the conference was not "Somali-owned" and that the Turks had their own agenda. With the announcement of the Turkish base in Somalia, both leaders have been proven correct.

After subjugating Somali autonomous regions, the Turks will turn their attention to predominantly Christian Ethiopia, where the largely Muslim Oromo people are suitable "Trojan horses" for Turkish intrigue; Kenya, where there is a growing divide between the Muslim coastal region and the Christian interior; and Zanzibar, a secessionist-minded part of Tanzania dominated by the moderate Ibadi sect of Islam. Turkey has already shown itself to be a significant threat to Christian majority nations facing Islamist extremism, particularly Armenia, Ethiopia, and Kenya.

Turkey is also a threat to non-Sunni nations like Shi’a majority Iran and Ibadi sect majority Oman. Hence, Turkey is establishing a large military base in Qatar from which it can apply pressure on Iranian and Omani interests in the Persian Gulf.

In every move by Turkey to expand its military presence abroad, Ankara has the full support of NATO and the United States. The Turkish foray into Georgia and Azerbaijan would not be possible without NATO’s encouragement. NATO’s main objective in the Caucasus is to isolate Russia and apply direct pressure on such independence-minded republics as Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Nagorno-Karabakh, the latter an Armenian enclave located within Azerbaijan. 

In Somalia, the Turkish military adventurism has the support of the ever-present US Africa Command (AFRICOM), which oversees all US military operations in Africa. And in Qatar, the Turkish base will co-exist with the massive US airbase at Al-Udeid, America’s largest military base in the Middle East.

Will Turkey’s plans to become a regional superpower end with bases in Qatar, Somalia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan? Erdogan’s and his Justice and Development Party’s pan-Turkic appetite may see additional Turkish bases in Europe, Central Asia, and North Africa. Under an agreement with Albania, the Turkish Navy has the right to use the Vlore Naval Shipyard, also known as the Pasha Liman Base. Turkish military and intelligence involvement in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Albania, and Macedonia on behalf of Muslim Albanians and Bosniaks, including stoking Muslim tensions, is well-known.

Turkey has established a military base presence in Iraqi Kurdistan and within Syria using proxy armies of Turkmen and Sunni tribes. And, for many years, the Turks have operated military bases in Northern Cyprus, which it known as the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus." a secessionist entity recognized by no other nation.

Turkey’s choosing to support Muslim secessionist movements in Cyprus and Macedonia while opting to fight Kurdish groups in Syria and Iraq, Somali groups in the Horn of Africa, and Armenian groups in Georgia may come back to haunt Ankara. By no means is the Turkish Republic immune to secessionism, from Turkish Kurdistan, former Assyrian and Armenian lands, and Lazistan in the east of Turkey to former Greek lands on the Turkish Mediterranean coast and to East Thrace, including Constantinople, in the western part of the country, there is ample room for external powers to use secessionism against the pan-Turkic regime of Erdogan and his cronies. Turkey, far from being a united Turkish republic beholden to a strong man like Erdogan, rests on an ethnic and religious house of cards. It would take only a strong gust of wind from Athens, Yerevan, Moscow, Belgrade, Skopje, Tehran, Hargeisa, and Addis Ababa to send the pan-Turkic regime’s troops home to deal with the rise of homegrown ethnic and religious nationalism far beyond that offered up by the Kurds.

Wayne Madsen

Wayne Madsen
Investigative journalist, author and syndicated columnist, Madsen has over twenty years experience in security issues. 

As a U.S. Naval Officer, he managed one of the first computer security programs for the U.S. Navy. Madsen has been a frequent political and national security commentator on Fox News and has also appeared on ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN, BBC and MS-NBC. He has been invited to testify as a witness before the US House of Representatives, the UN Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and an terrorism investigation panel of the French government. A member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and the National Press Club, Madsen is based and reports from Washington, D.C.



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