Ninjas (Indonesia)

Country: Indonesia
Details of Formation: Sources state that the militia was formed by the military in the early 1990s. First evidence and activity of the group is from June 1991. The ninjas are a 'shadowy' extra task force apparently controlled by either the military and/or the special forces, for killing independence supporters. They were active throughout the 1990s in East Timor until they were presumably subsumed by the militias that sprang up in 1999.
Details of Termination: There is no mention of the ninjas being terminated, but since there is no mention in 1999, it is likely that ninja members were dispersed into the pro-integration militias that emerged that year. There was an alleged link to the army, to special forces and to one of Suharto's sons. The group is seen as terminated for when the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) was established on 25 October 1999.
Purpose: The pro-integrationist militia was used to persecute people “suspected of anti-Indonesian feeling”, i.e. pro-independence activists, by attacking them, perpetrating kidnappings and assaults and conducting raids on their homes.
Organisation: The PGM had links to the military, with connections to the former military intelligence chief in East Timor and support from some officers and soldiers reportedly being members of the group. It was backed by the security forces and said to have been formed by the military.
Weapons and Training: Members were armed with army knives and clubs and it is reported that they were armed by military officers. As security men/soldiers are said to be members, those elements are likely to have been trained, but there is nothing said about specific training for the group.
Size: --
Reason for Membership: The PGM is described as right wing and pro-Indonesian, therefore ideological convictions were one motivation to join the group.
Treatment of Civilians: The group attacked, murdered, kidnapped and tortured civilians based on (suspected) pro-independence views. Members were also active at night, breaking into houses and murdering suspects, as well as in the streets, where they damaged property and beat people up.
Other Information: There were 13 additional teams operating in East Timor which included nine to 274 members.
References: Information was taken from news sources listed in the PGMD.