NEWS

Bali's Antiterrorist Fisherman

By Matthew Harwood

Bali police have a novel approach toward force multiplication: it's leveraging the island's fishermen to surveil its shores for terrorist activity.

Via Italy's Adnkronos International:

In an interview with Adnkronos International (AKI), Bali police spokesman AS Reniban, said that fishermen and villagers were needed to help because Bali’s 11,000 police cannot patrol the island resort's entire coastline.

He said they had been trained through the country's police-civilians forums.

"Policemen give proper information about the most wanted terrorists, how to detect terror threats, and how to recognise explosives," he said, stressing that the collaboration is voluntary and the civilians do not have judicial powers.

The police spokesperson said that villagers were required to report their findings to the police station in their village.

The program also functions as a means to subvert the radicalization process. During the police-civilian forums, police warn against the allure of radical Islam and give out books by Nasir Abbas, a former member of the terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) who speaks out against his former comrades.

JI is believed responsible for the two terrorist attacks that struck Bali in 2002 and 2005. The first bombing in Bali's club district killed over 200 people, many of them foreigners, mostly Australian. Twenty-something more died in the second bombing three years later.

According to the article, Bali's people are largely Hindu, which in the world's most populous Muslim country, makes them a prime target for Muslim extremists.

 

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