Jakarta – Couriers helped channelled some US$75,000 to terrorist groups in Indonesia in the past few years, said a top intelligence officer. The beneficiaries included the network headed by the late bomb-expert, Malaysian Azahari Husin, said Mr Syamsir Siregar, chief of State Intelligenc Agency (BIN). However, the good news is that the flow of money had stopped.
"The money came from individuals in Middle Eastern and Asian countries. The US$75,000 figure was worked out as the result of an investigation held this year," Mr Syamsir said after a closed door meeting with legislators on Nov 24.
According to The Jakarta Post, the huge amount of foreign money received by the terrorist groups explained how they had developed enormous capability to embark on sophisticated terrorist attacks. It cited the 2002 Bali bombing which killed over 200 people as an example of the level of sophistication of the devices created by the well-financed terror networks.
Mr Syamsir said the terror groups received funding based on the targets. The financiers would figure out how much money the terror groups should receive per target, and it would be sent through couriers.
Given the foreign link in the transfer of funds, BIN is now considering deploying intelligence officers at a number of Indonesian embassies in the Philippines,Thailand and some Middle Eastern countries, he added.
Indonesian National Police chief, General Sutanto, had earlier said that funding for the second Bali bombings on Oct 1 was obtained from the sale of mobile phone vouchers by members of the Azahari-led group.
"Profits from the voucher sales reached five million rupiah per day. The money was sent to (the terrorist leaders) through a courier."
Gen Sutanto said the Azahari group had to raise its own money because the flow of funds from the Middle East had stopped last year. "On the flow of funds, I should state here that there is no more flow of foreign funds (to Indonesia)," he said on Nov 25.
However, the police would stay alert to the possibility of the existence of new sources of foreign funds. "Of course, we stay alert to this possibility but until now we have no information," he added.
* Terror groups receive foreign funding: BIN (The Jakarta Post, Nov 26)
* Foreign Fund Flow for Terrorists (Antara, Nov 25)