Indonesia Increases Security after Video Calls For Attack
By Niniek Karmini 26 November 2015
JAKARTA — Authorities increased security across Indonesia after a video appearing on social media threatened attacks against police and other targets, police and officials said Wednesday.
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.