New Facts Link Indonesian Military to "Terror Attack" on U.S.
Citizens; Rice May Release IMET to Indonesia Before Investigation
Contacts: John Rumbiak (619) 606-0441
Eben Kirksey (202) 974-6364
Ed McWilliams (703) 899-5285
Washington, D.C., February 17, 2005 - Researchers and advocates
today called on U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to consider
new evidence of Indonesian involvement in an August 2002 attack on
U.S. citizens within the Freeport mining project area in Timika,
West Papua, Indonesia, before releasing International Military
Education and Training (IMET) military aid to the Indonesian
During her January 19, 2005, confirmation hearing for the
position of U.S. Secretary of State, Dr. Rice stated, "Although the
investigation is not complete, the FBI has uncovered no evidence
indicating TNI involvement in the Timika murders."
"IMET should not be released," said John Rumbiak, supervisor of
the West Papua-based Institute for Human Rights Study and Advocacy (ELSHAM).
"There is new evidence pointing to the involvement of the Indonesian
military in the Freeport attack." On January 26 and 27, 2005, Mr.
Rumbiak briefed staffers of the U.S. House of Representatives,
Senate, and State Department with this new information. This
information will be presented to FBI investigators on Wednesday,
February 23, 2005. ELSHAM employees, who have already aided the FBI
investigation, recently were threatened by Indonesian agents.
"By murdering these U.S. citizens, the TNI may have been seeking
higher payments to protect the Freeport mine" said Eben Kirksey, a
regional specialist who is a Fellow at the University of California
Washington Center. "The TNI has recently established indigenous
militias throughout West Papua. Militia violence is used by the
military to extort payments from foreign companies and Indonesia's
own civilian administration."
Edmund McWilliams, former Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy
in Jakarta, said, "It is crucial that the FBI explore
well-documented ties between the Indonesian military and the single
individual so far indicted as well as a number of unindicted
On August 31, 2002, gunmen shot to death two U.S. citizens and
one Indonesian citizen while wounding eight other U.S. citizens.
This attack occurred on the heavily guarded main road within the
mining project area of U.S.-based Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold,
Inc. (NYSE symbol: FCX). Initial Indonesian police reports
identified the TNI as likely being involved in the attack. In June
2004, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft announced the indictment
of one man in connection with the crime, an Indonesian citizen named
Anthonius Wamang. Wamang's whereabouts are believed to be known to
Indonesian authorities. He remains at large. Since the indictment,
the FBI has not returned to Indonesia to continue the investigation.
The newly documented evidence of TNI involvement in the August
2002 attack includes these elements:
WAMANG LINKS TO TNI
Wamang traveled to the Indonesian capital of Jakarta in January
2002. ELSHAM possesses evidence that TNI agents paid for Wamang's
travel and accommodation expenses during this trip. According to
ELSHAM's investigation, before the January-March 2002 trip to
Java, Wamang had no substantial combat experience nor advanced
training in the use of automatic firearms. Weapons training may have
been provided by the TNI at this time. Wamang reportedly claims that
the ambush was planned during his January-March 2002 trip to Java.
PROVISION OF WEAPONS AND AMMUNITION BY TNI
Wamang has admitted in a videotaped interview, televised in
August 2004 by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, that he
purchased bullets from the TNI. ELSHAM has new detailed evidence
about the roles of two other presumed co-conspirators who helped
procure the weapons used in the attack. These presumed
co-conspirators have collaborated with TNI agents since 1996. One of
the co-conspirators flew to Indonesia's capital of Jakarta where he
stayed at the home of Colonel Sugiono, an active TNI officer. Once
automatic rifles were purchased from Indonesian military agents in
Bandung, Col. Sugiono arranged for the payment of the airfare for
this presumed co-conspirator to return to West Papua. The
rifles were not immediately brought back to West Papua and were
stored at the Cikini Police Station (Polsek Cikini) in Jakarta.
POSSIBLE MOTIVE: TNI DESIRED INCREASED SECURITY PAYMENTS
Roughly 30% of the TNI annual budget comes from Indonesia's
civilian administration. The remainder of TNI funds come, in part,
from both official security contracts with private companies and
illegal extortion, and there is a documented history of TNI
extortion of "protection money" from Freeport. ELSHAM has conducted
extensive research about the financial details of the relationship
between Freeport and the TNI. Freeport made direct transfers, in
amounts ranging from $1,800 to $2,100 per month, into the personal
account of the regional military commander for West Papua (Pangdam
Trikora). These payments were discontinued in the months leading up
to the August 2002 attack. According to a communication by Freeport
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the company paid
the TNI $5.6 million in 2002.
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