Skip to comments.Terrorists Continue to Assassinate and Provoke Christians in Poso
Posted on 12/02/2003 11:26:30 PM PST by miltonim
Last night the sound of bullets whistling through the air, bombs exploding and the cries of Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar (Allah is great) again broke through the balmy tropical evening in equatorial Poso, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia.
Along with panic stricken residents fleeing their homes we ran into the streets in the still of the evening anticipating that the town was about to be attacked by these savage terrorists. Our fears deepened even further when suddenly the electric supply went dead and the town was thrown into utter darkness. This was just another night in Kawua on the edge of Poso, the scene of vicious Al-Qaeda, Jamaah Islamiyah, Laskar Jihad and Laskar Jundullah attacks over the last five years. This was not an isolated incident, but this is the terror these people are subjected to day in, day out.
Mrs. Luis Ticoalu, a Pentecostal pastors wife had to put on a brave face as she comforted the flock gathering in the streets not knowing would this be the night they would meet their Creator. Some of those who huddled together in the streets had been victims of previous attacks. Some had been shot and wounded. Some had seen their loved ones massacred. Most had witnessed the destruction of their homes, shops and churches.
Night after night, day after day the Christian community of Central Sulawesi is subjected to terror. Sometimes it is the physical terror of a village being attacked by well-armed hit squads dressed in black, shooting innocent women and children, looting and burning down homes. Sometimes it is psychological terror by the use of well-timed gunshots and the explosions of bombs at various intervals in different directions to create the impression of a possible imminent attack. This is terrorism pure and simple.
These terrorists are acting according to a plan. This is not communal violence. After the Malino Accord in December 2001, the Christian community who had previously armed themselves with homemade weapons to protect their women and children had handed them in as part of the peace accord. Unfortunately these Al Qaeda trained terrorists did not hand in their high-grade military arsenal and this has left the Christians in an even more vulnerable position. All the Christians can do is pray.
A secret document outlining the plans of these terrorists, dated November 17, was intercepted and passed on to authorities. The document, addressed to Jihad Sector Coordinators stated, We advise the Sector Chairmen and the Chairmen of the District Coordinators to mobilize the masses and forces to destroy [the Christians]. The document went on to advise that as to the techniques and methods to launch their murderous attacks: It is put into the hands of each sector and local coordinator. You should try and produce a major and deadly impact, for example: sudden multiple simultaneous attacks to shock them, blockading of their logistic and strategic routes, and killings of important leaders among them. Accompanying these attacks, let there be killings of people wherever and whenever they may be.
The same message was contained in a pamphlet being distributed in the mosques and throughout the Muslim community. It said:
Join together with the core force [Al-Qaeda, JI, Laskar Jundullah] that has already been prepared. Join with your finances, your souls and even your lives. We are going to carry out the following activities:
1. Mass attacks to cause shock.
2. Mass burnings and evictions from the city and surrounding districts.
3. Mysterious killings of leaders and important people among the Christians.
4. Blockading logistic and strategic transportation routes of the Christians.
5. Murders and burnings whenever and wherever we can. Do not allow the Christians to have control.
To this end, make all the necessary preparations to take revenge and satisfy the demand for vengeance held deep in our hearts. Sacrifice your possessions and souls and even your lives to herald in a future which is in our hands.
This is exactly what is happening. The above letter and pamphlet are not just propaganda. It is not just rumor. It is happening just as they said it would.
In several villages, on November 20, simultaneously from Tonipa and Toini 8 km to the west of Poso to Matako, 32 km to the east of Poso there were gunshots and bomb explosions around the villages. On the 21st in Bategencu, 15 km from Poso there was a rumor that the village would be attacked that night and some prepared to leave. Then they too heard shootings at the back of their village. They were too scared to stay and too scared to leave. On the 23rd the same happened in the village of Sepe just 6 km through the jungles from Poso. This is the terror daily facing the Christians of Poso, Central Sulawesi.
On Monday, November 24, the Pentecostal Church (GPdI Ekklesia) in Palu was bombed for the third time. The bomb was discovered and dragged to safety by the police where it exploded in the open. A police spokesman said that there were still 20 bombs that they know of that are searching for and that all should remain on alert.
On Tuesday night, November 25, around 9.30 pm the Jamaah Islamiyah terrorists carried out sporadic shootings in the direction of the housing of villagers in the Christian village of Buyumboyo, 3km east of Poso. Ferdinand Saerang of the Poso Watch reported, no-one was killed, but several were wounded. The residents fled to seek shelter in the direction of the Television and State Electricity complexes where there is a military post. The people of Tentena immediately felt the echo of these series of shootings, so that the town was tense all night long and guard posts were set up. It was thought these terrorists might even attack in Tentena. Then near midnight two bombs exploded near the Hero shop (a shop owned by a Christian and no longer being operated) in Irian Street, Poso. There was another one that did not explode. Half an hour later another bomb exploded in the ruins of the Poso Ekklesia Pentecostal (GPdI) Church. The nearby village of Ranononcu was also terrorized during the night with more rounds of automatic weapons and explosions.
This is the terror the Christians of Poso must continue to endure, but what is the Government doing about it?
According to Tempo Interactive, November 24, the Minister for the Coordination of Politics and Security (MenkoPolkam), Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, affirmed, that the situation in Poso was under control. Meanwhile Tempo Interactive reported the police are still looking for those who spread the rumors of an attack on Poso during Idul Fitri. The rumor is not true, said General Da'i Bachtiar, Chief of Indonesian Police (Kapolri).... Apart from Poso, there was also the rumor of a homemade bomb in a church in Palu. Apart from the rumors of an attack, there were also circulars containing provocative rumors. We dont know where they came from, said Da'i.
Such statements from the two most senior Government security leaders do little to assure the Christians of Poso who continue to live under this reign of terror. Are their statements just meant to divert attention from what is really going on and to appease international concerns? How can their statements be so far from reality? Who are they listening to or are they even complicit in this religious genocide being so openly and freely perpetrated by these agents of Al Qaeda?
The mystery continues. The terror still reigns. The Christians are still being massacred. And the Government says everything is under control!