IS militants may ‘easily target’ Indonesia, military warns
By APD writer Maverick
JAKARTA, June 13 (APD) - Indonesia may become the next target for Islamic State (IS) militants to build up their stronghold as the nation has many IS ‘sleeping cells’ which are ready to support the IS militants in materializing their causes in Indonesia, Indonesian military commander said.
The IS militants, who are now controlling the Philippines’ city of Marawi, can easily shift their bases to Indonesian territory close to the Philippine’s IS-related conflict areas in Mindanao, Indonesian Military Commander General Gatot Nurmantyo said.
“It would be easy if they want to leap to Bitung, Morotai and several other places around there. So let us put a high alert regarding it,” the general said here on Monday, referring to areas in Indonesian provinces of North Sulawesi and North Maluku which are close to Mindanao.
Gatot warned that IS already has ‘sleeping cells’ in Indonesia that can be activated anytime as radical groups to support IS’ interests in Indonesia and carry out terror attacks in the country.
“Should those sleeping cells were awaken, it would be very dangerous for us. So now our main focus is to beef the security in border areas with the Philippines,” he added.
“They must not appear in Indonesia, because we already have (their) seeds here,” the military commander warned.
Indonesia saw string of attacks and attempts identified of being carried out by cells of a radical group Jamaah Anshorut Daulah (JAD) which already stated its allegiance to IS.
The last deadly attack was a suicidal bombing in an East Jakarta bus terminal on May 24 that claimed the lives of 3 policemen and injured dozens others.
The attack occurred shortly after the IS-claimed attacks in Manchester, Bangkok and the siege of Marawi carried out by IS-affiliated terror organization of Maute.
Indonesia has increased police and military troops deployment in its northern provinces to anticipate possible infiltration of IS militants’ infiltration to Indonesian territory from the sea.
Together with the Philippines authorities, Indonesia also intensified joint patrols in waters between the two neighboring countries.
Entering three weeks of arms conflicts in Marawi between the Philippines military and Maute militants in Marawi have claimed more than 60 troops, around 20 civilians and more than 100 militants.
(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)
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