The Jakarta Post
Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Djoko Suyanto has said that the government is employing soft power to protect Indonesians from the influence of Islamic State (IS), also known as ISIL, militants.
He explained that the soft power approach was being utilized through cooperation by the Religious Affairs Ministry with several Muslim organizations in the country.
'Religious leaders from the Muslim organizations have the power to enlighten their followers about the threat posed by IS,' he said Sunday evening as quoted by Antara news agency.
Djoko said the government had asked the religious leaders to help protect the country from IS as Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim-majority state, had a great many Islamic organizations, such as Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) and Muhammadiyah.
He also said that the government had a zero tolerance attitude toward anyone found to be involved in terrorist activities in the country, and that they would face harsh measures.
The National Police revealed on Sunday that they had arrested seven alleged militants, four of whom are believed to hail from Chinese Turkestan, who police suspected were planning to join a jihadist group in eastern Indonesia with possible links to IS.
National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar said on Sunday that the four foreigners were captured late on Saturday in the town of Parigi Moutong, Central Sulawesi, on their way to Poso, a neighboring mountainous district that has long been regarded as a hotbed of extremism.
During Saturday's raid, the police seized IS symbols and documents from the arrested men, who are currently being questioned to determine their possible ties to international jihadist groups. (alz)
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