The Jakarta Post
The Army confirmed on Wednesday that it had prepared various steps to anticipate the infiltration and expansion of the Islamic State (IS) network into Indonesia.
“We always keep a guard against any activities that enable the presence of terrorists in the country,” Army spokesperson Col. Alfret Denny Tuejeh said as quoted by kompas.com at the Army Media Center in Central Jakarta on Wednesday.
He added that the Army had also anticipated the potential expansion of IS attacks in Indonesia following its recent strike against Marawi in the Philippines.
Alfret said Indonesian authorities had beefed up territorial defense in Ambon, Maluku, and North Sulawesi as media outlets reported IS fighters had attempted to occupy Marawi.
“Shortly after the incident, the commanders of the Merdeka Military Area Command [Kodam] in Manado and the Kodam Pattimura in Ambon straightaway texted me, informing me what had happened in Marawi. They later made statements in the media that we had to anticipate the possible infiltration of IS jihadists into Indonesia via Maluku and North Sumatra,” said Alfret.
He refused to give details on measures the Army had prepared except for saying that it had coordinated with military commands in areas across Indonesia while at the same time it paid close attention to developments in the Philippines.
“You [journalists] and the public might think that the Army doesn’t care about the current situation, but, that is wrong,” Alfret said. He hoped no IS fighters would enter Indonesia as they were the enemy of the nation. (hol/ebf)