In­done­sia in­creases se­cu­rity af­ter video calls for at­tack

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

JAKARTA, In­done­sia: Au­thor­i­ties in­creased se­cu­rity across In­done­sia af­ter a video ap­pear­ing on so­cial me­dia threat­ened at­tacks against po­lice and other tar­gets, po­lice and of­fi­cials said yes­ter­day.

Se­cu­rity was raised at air­ports, the pres­i­den­tial palace, for­eign em­bassies, and shop­ping cen­ters in the cap­i­tal af­ter a threat was made by an Is­lamic mil­i­tant group, said Jakarta po­lice chief Maj. Gen. Tito Kar­na­vian. “There will be en­hanced se­cu­rity,” Kar­na­vian told re­porters. “But pub­lic vig­i­lance and cau­tion on sus­pi­cious be­hav­ior in their neigh­bor­hood is par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant to ward off ter­ror at­tacks.” The video call­ing for at­tacks on Jakarta po­lice head­quar­ters and the pres­i­den­tial palace ap­peared on so­cial me­dia, in­clud­ing Face­book this week­end. It was blocked by au­thor­i­ties on Monday.

The 9-minute voice-recorded video pur­port­edly came from the East In­done­sia Mu­jahidin, led by the coun­try’s most wanted mil­i­tant, Abu War­dah San­toso, who has taken re­spon­si­bil­ity for the killings of sev­eral po­lice of­fi­cers and has pledged al­le­giance to the Is­lamic State group in Syria and Iraq. San­toso faces charges of run­ning a ter­ror­ist train­ing camp in Poso, a flash­point of ter­ror­ism in Cen­tral Su­lawesi where a Mus­lim-Chris­tian con­flict killed at least 1,000 peo­ple from 1998 to 2002. In­done­sia’s se­cu­rity forces be­gan a large man­hunt early this month against San­toso and his group in their hide­out in Poso.

Kar­na­vian said po­lice are still in­ves­ti­gat­ing whether the speaker in the video, fea­tur­ing a pic­ture of San­toso with black Is­lamic State flags, is San­toso him­self or a fol­lower. But he said that he did not want to down­play any po­ten­tial threat any­time a ter­ror­ist group calls for an at­tack. In ad­di­tion to the in­creased se­cu­rity, In­done­sia’s alert level was up­graded from “green” to “yel­low” be­cause of the threat to civil aviation af­ter the Paris at­tacks, the Trans­porta­tion Min­istry’s spokesman Julius Barata said. In­done­sia, the world’s most pop­u­lous Mus­lim na­tion, has seen a spate of deadly at­tacks by the Je­maah Is­lamiyah net­work, in­clud­ing the 2002 Bali bomb­ings that killed 202 peo­ple, mostly for­eign tourists. Strikes in re­cent years have been smaller and less deadly and have tar­geted govern­ment au­thor­i­ties, mainly po­lice and anti-ter­ror­ism forces.

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