I Made Mangku Pastika
Indonesia's government had long ignored evidence of a mounting Islamic terrorist threat. Then came the horrific October, 2002, nightclub bombing in Bali, which killed 202 people. Suddenly under intense pressure, President Megawati Sukarnoputri turned to I Made Mangku Pastika, a brigadier general in the national police department who had established a reputation for his investigations into murders and corruption all over Indonesia.
Today, Pastika, 50, is the most important figure in Indonesia's effort to combat homegrown terrorists, many of whom are suspected of links to the al Qaeda network. His Bali bombing probe -- which he opened to agents from the FBI, Scotland Yard, and the Australian Federal Police -- led to the arrest of 29 alleged members of the Java-based group Jemaah Islamiya, and uncovered evidence of ties between that group and al Qaeda.
Now Pastika, who has been in law enforcement since he entered the police academy at age 21, is moving up. In late October, he was promoted to deputy chief of criminal investigation and transferred to national police headquarters in Jakarta. These days, he's following up on leads that there are still undiscovered Jemaah Islamiya "sleeper cells" in Indonesia. "The police have a long way to go as an institution," says Ralph L. Boyce, U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia, "but Pastika is a professional cop who has a desire to perform." What law enforcers in the West hope is that Pastika's brand of professionalism can help make Indonesia a true ally in the fight against terrorism.