30 Aug 2012

Academic says Indonesian anti terrorist group's range of activities need to be curbed

1:59 pm on 30 August 2012

An academic at Sydney University says anti terrorist groups in Indonesia's Papua region need to stick to their mandate and have their actions closely monitored.

Dr Jim Elmsie, from the Centre of Peace and Conflict Studies, says the special forces police group, Detachment 88, has extended its brief after being set up to counter the rise of Islamic terrorism following the Bali bombings.

He says while the group has been very effective in capturing terrorists in Indonesia, the recent fatal shooting of a Papua independence leader, Mako Tabuni, is alarming.

He says its outrageous that Australian Federal Police are involved in training groups like Detachment 88 and an independent investigation, perhaps by the United Nations, is needed.

"Any country today is potentially the victim of terrorism so you need units that are dedicated to countering that and to react when a terrorist act does occur. But that doesn't mean that they can just spread their sort of brief, if you like, into assassinating domestic critics."

Sydney University's Dr Jim Elmsie.