It would seem, to most observers, to be a singularly unremarkable venture. A group of American tourists visiting a cultural centre in the Papuan town of Abepura, just outside the capital Jayapura. On the agenda was an opportunity to view some historical artifacts and watch a traditional dance.
But, as the group of some 180 visitors toured the facility and enjoyed the performance, they were being watched. In the shadows was an informant for Indonesia’s elite special forces unit, Kopassus.
In a report back to his handler, the informant observed the tourists had been warmly welcomed by the centre’s manager and been amused and entranced by the dance. The visit had lasted precisely 35 minutes, from 11.50am to 12.25pm, and had been “safe and smooth”.
The informant warned there was no room for complacency, a point heartily endorsed by the Kopassus handler, Second Lieutenant Muhammad Zainollah.
“With visits from overseas tourists to Papua, there is the possibility of influencing conditions of Papuan society,”
Lieutenant Zainollah wrote in his report to the local Kopassus commander.
“Politically, there needs to be a deeper detection of the existence hidden behind it all because of the possibility of a process of deception … such as meetings with pro-independence groups.”
The note is bizarre and even amusing. It is one of hundreds of intelligence briefs obtained by the Herald from Kopassus intelligence posts in Papua and part of a cache of 19 documents that includes a highly detailed analysis of the “anatomy” of the separatist movement.
But it is also instructive of what the material in its entirety reveals: