Remembering Indonesia’s Collaboration Towards Singapore’s Terrorists Handling

(Study case of Mas Selamat Kastari)

If we talk about our neighboring state Singapore, then our mind will picture a congested city, bustling with economic activity, racing skyscrapers, selfie on the lion statue that spout waters, eating orchard street’s famous ice cream, or shopping branded things.

We rarely assume that the small city-state but rich country actually is a very fragile towards terrorist attacks. The “police to police” collaboration today shows, that whether we’re aware or not, that in certain cases, Indonesia plays a huge role on securing Singapore’s domestic security. Maybe it’s still freshly implanted on our memory about the Batam case, the “Katibah Gonggong Rebus” Terror case. We could imagine what would happen to Singapore if Indonesia couldn’t apprehend, prevent and identify the growth of the terror cells. Maybe with only a throw and explosion of small improvised rocket (IED Launcher) the psychological, economic, and political repercussion would shake the country. Even worse if the bomb or rocket is on a larger scale, just like what was created by Tsutomo Shirosaki (Japanese Red Army Group) towards the embassy of United States, Japan, Canada, and Russia on May 14th , 1986 in Jakarta; it could predicted that the social, economy, and security of Singapore would collapse. We also should include the “lonewolf” terror model, which attacks individually; or suicide bombing method with the target of random places and/or people.

We couldn’t take Terrorism lightly. In our country, we even couldn’t count how much the material costs caused by terrorism. How much lives, permanent disability, children became an orphan, widows and the traumatic effects that affect psychologically. The physical and psychological wounds always follow an attack.

Mas Selamat Kastari, A Javanese name of Singapore’s terrorist.

When we hear name “Mas Selamat Kastari” most people would assume that he’s Javanese. There are no other “mas” as a name or calling in other Asean’s ethnic other than Indonesian. And that name signifies that the owner of the name is either from Central of East Java. The next question would be: Is it true that he is Javanese? To answer that question let’s take a look towards  the description that I collected from various dialogues. We also would look inside the history of Mas Selamat Kastari, and his connection towards Indonesian cell.

Mas Selamat Kastari that has two pseudo name; Edy Haryanto or Hendrawan, is truly a Singaporean. Once again, he is Singaporean. His Javanese name is still a mystery. Wallahualam, we haven’t had any dialogue with his parents. He was born and raised in Singapore on January 23rd 1961 and lived on Block 106 H02-504 Tech Whye, Singpore. And so does his formal education, all was acquired in Singapore. From 1984 to 2001 he works as an employee at SBS (Singapore Bus Service) to make a living. In his hideout in Indonesia on January 2005 to January 2006, he worked as a motorcycle technician in Patimura Street, Malang. Mas Selamat Kastari was married in Singapore with his lover named Nurlela Syahali on December 1987 and have 5 children, all their names begins with “Mas”; Mashadi, Masfuk, Masud, Maskur, and Masturah.

Becoming a Terrorist

In 1990 Mas Selamat Kastari joined an organization called “Jamaah Islamiya” (JI) as a member, and on his membership procession he was bai’at (Islamic procession of taking an oath) by the Emir of JI, Abdulah Sungkar. Ten years later, in 2000 he was promoted. With only a letter he was promoted as the Head of Wakalah Umar by the Head of Mantiqi 1 (Mantiqi is region division), Hambali. To make the movement of organization smoother, an under official was appointed to accompanied Mas Slamet Kastari. As deputy, H. Ibrahim was appointed. Hasim was appointed as treasurer, Husaini appointed as Dakwah section, and Ishak Nohu in Economic section, meanwhile the funding of the organization was done by donation and member’s contribution.

The Growth of Regional’s Capacity and Radicalism

Looking towards Indonesia’s experience on identify, looking forward, analyzing, revealing, and apprehending cells of terrorists, we could take a simple hypothesis that JI as part of Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia have an extraordinary ability to play its role in creating “Asymmetrical Warfare” situation. This is pointed by a couple of things. First, every plan of movement were done by outmost secrecy and thoroughly that the movement couldn’t easily monitored by the officials. The basic things that should be done by every member of JI is to forge their identities. This thing was done by almost all of the members. If needed, a false identity is created in every operation’s region. Mas Selamat Kastari is one of the examples. He, a Singapore citizen, could successfully create and obtain a fake Indonesia’s Identity card (KTP) under the name of Hendrawan, with registration no: KTP 23. 5618. 291184. 0002 that signed by the head of the Tambak Sari’s District on behalf of the Mayor of Surabaya. On the KTP information column it’s written that he was born in Batam, January 1st 1966 and domiciled on Karang Asem 4/5 Rt 04/04, Ploso Sub District, Tambak Sari District, Surabaya.

Second, every member that will join the organization must follow a very tight selection. Started from candidate selection that were done directly through “face to face” contact. Through certain utztad, certain figures, through certain training, patronage, marriage, even through friendship. Out of those system is considered as an out group or an apostate. Third; The division of working area, hierarchy inside organization is arranged strictly. Where’s the Jihad area, Where’s battlefield and to whom the donation could be asked. Back when JI still exist, inside the PUPJI Document (Main Struggle Guidelines for Jemaah Islamiyah) and other supporting document, we still remember how the region’s division and authorities was controlled. On those documents, it is arranged from the Head Quarters towards the smallest units; from Markaziah, Mantiqi, Wakalah, Qirdas, Katibah, Fi’ah and Toifah. Fourth; doctrine inside the study of Askary and Syar’i is really substantial alongside the in depth indoctrination. It is very hard to intervene towards their faith. Fifth, the anticipation study when encountering state’s apparatus also given such as anti-surveillance, interrogation techniques, and counter-undercover. Sixth, to improve the attacks ability and effectively, members must followed a training camp in Al Qaeda Military Academy. And the interesting part is how the materials in their academy is far more complete than the one that was done by the state, like bomb making materials.

And How About Mas Selamat Kastari?

As a Wakalah Leader surely Mas Selamat Kastari is known in his organization. Mas Selamat Kastari although not as great as the Emirs of Markaziah Jamaah Islamiyah Indonesia, but he really understand the concepts. Why so? Because he’s very logical. When Jamaah Islamiyah in Indonesia and Philippine planning an “Amaliya” attack that’s more tends towards Jihad as an expression of revenge, Mas Selamat Kastari Planned to hijack an airline as a form of protest towards the Singapore’s government. Through Email that was sent by Hasan he then send a dreadful threat that panicked the Singaporean security apparatus. The content of the message is: “As an attempt to oppose the Singaporean government, we would hijack and blow up an airplane that flew from Thailand to Changi Airport, Singapore.” That plan was made after meeting with Hambali in Johor, Malaysia in the early 2001. The Amaliya Terrorism that was stated then got Hambali’s blessing. It even stated by Hambali that the resource sould be prepared through donation’s and Infaq in Singapore.

To cashed those amaliyah terror plan, on Desember 2001, Mas Selamat Kastari and his group exit Singapore to arrange hijacking strategies. Nonetheless, Singaporean Police investigation found out the e-mail written by Hasan. As follow up, Singaporean Police finally arrest few members of Wakalah Singapore such as Fadhi Abu Bakar, Ali Royidoh, H. Ibrahim and Mohammad Alim. Those simultaneous apprehension, then took effect on Mas Selamat Kastari’s plan so that he must visit Mukhlas and Ali Gufron in Johor, Malaysia. As final resolution regarding matters, he commanded the remaining Wakalah members to exit Singapore. Note, that Mas Selamat Kastari’s plan about hijacking an airline was still ongoing. Finally Mas Selamat Kastari heads up to Thailand with his five members including, Ishak Nohu, Husaini, Hasan and Rosyid. In Pattaya they forge 5 different passports and buy 5 airplane tickets bound for Singapore. Before they get their hand airborne, they must cancel their flight and their plan because of high security measures in airport.

In 8th January 2002, Mas Selamat Kastari and his fellow terrorist made a new plan, which consist of sea based transportation using small boat called Satoon en route to Indonesia. Specifically their plan was to reached Bali via Langkawi, Pinang Island, and Port Belawan. Although they just visit Bali for 3 days, Mas Selamat Kastari successfully managed to establish contact with JI members such as Yazid in Sidoarjo. On his arrest, Mas Selamat Kastari reveals that Bali was choose because it was the safest place to remove all of his previous background by forging a new Indonesian ID helped by Yazid who then instructed to meet him in Surabaya.

By then, Mas Selamat kastari began his adventure in Indonesia. After Surabaya he then visited his wife and children in Dumai, Riau in new identity as in soy milk vendor starting from January 2002 until February 2003. At this point, his effort to remove all of his background continues with changing of his wife name to Sakinah, known as Ibu Kina by their neighbors. In the 2nd of February 2003, Mas Selamat Kastari was caught by the Riau Police because of his fake ID and remained in custody for 8 month. While in custody his family then got deported back to Singapore. After finishing his time in jail, he again got caught by police in east java due to the same reasons and got doubled sentences to 16 month for what his done. In his jail time, he received many visit from the JI group members. Because of his JI contacts, after finishing his sentences Mas Selamat Kastari again manage to forge a new ID until he got arrested in January 2006 because of his relation with Noordin M Top. After all of this arrest, Singapore began to collaborate with Indonesia. Due his latest arrest, now Mas Selamat Kastari faced prison in Singapore until now.