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Canada assists in fight against Chemical and Biological terrorism

Saturday April 21, 2007

On 14 May, the Canadian Government handed over to the Government of Indonesia, equipment to avert chemical, biological, radiological terror attacks with the signing of documents in Jakarta by Canadian Ambassador to Indonesia, John Holmes, and Secretary to Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Politics and Security, Agustadi Sasongko, reported Media Indonesia.
At a press conference, Agustadi Sasongko explained that the Canadian grant came to a total value of 250,000 Canadian Dollars or around Rp.2 billion, and is a joint cooperation in the fight against terrorism. The equipment comprise masks and early detectors, and will be most useful for Indonesia, although so far there are as yet no indications that local terrorist groups are using such chemical weapons, however, the Government must anticipate their use.
The Canadian Government has supported Indonesia’s efforts since 2004 by sponsoring four exercises in fighting chemical, biological and nuclear terrorism, in Semarang, Surabaya, and twice in Jakarta. These exercises were participated by 200 government officials, the Police and the Armed Forces. 
Separately, Head of the anti-terror desk of the Coordinating Ministry for Politics and Security, Ansyaad Mbay, confirmed that the trend in international terrorism showed that terrorist groups were increasing their capabilities in using biological and chemical weapons. Furthermore, said Ansyaad, the possibility that terrorists will attack biological and chemical facilities are also becoming more evident.
In such situation, the Indonesian government must act to prepare and avert such attack in order to “at least minimize casualties. Although until today there are no indications that the Indonesian terror network is actually planning to use this. However, this does not mean that they will not use these in Indonesia.”

A number of security units are today already using anti-chemical and biological weapons, among whom are the Special anti-terror Unit of the Police. The Special Unit of the Navy and the Army are also readied, but these will act only when requested by the Police, said Ansyaad.