Update COVID-19 in Indonesia: 1,542,516 confirmed infections, 41,977 deaths (6 April 2021)
14 April 2021 (closed)
USD/IDR (14,146) -6.00 -0.04%
EUR/IDR (17,335) +57.05 +0.33%
Jakarta Composite Index (6,050.28) +122.84 +2.07%
Tito Karniavan, Chief of Indonesia's National Police, said a total of 33 (alleged) Muslim terrorists were killed in Indonesia in full-year 2016, a steep increase from the seven Islamic militants that were killed in the preceding year. These alleged terrorists died when they resisted security forces during their arrest. These actions also led to the death of one police officer as well as 11 wounded officers this year. Meanwhile, the number of terror crime cases rose to 170 in full-year 2016, more than doubling from 82 cases in 2015.
The number of terror crime cases in Indonesia rose steeply in 2016 due to "Operation Tinombala" in Poso (Central Sulawesi). This operation, jointly conducted by Indonesian police and the army, aims at eliminating Indonesian terrorist cell East Indonesia Mujahidin (in Indonesian: Mujahidin Indonesia Timur, or MIT) that was led by Indonesia's former most wanted Islamic militant Abu "Santoso" Wardah, an Islamic State (IS) supporter. Although Santoso was killed in July 2016 the operation continues. It is believed that there are still around 10 MIT militants and that Ali Kalora has replaced Santoso as the cell's new leader.
Dr Zuly Qodir, Senior Researcher at the Maarif Institute, stated that in particularly Indonesia's youth between 16 and 19 years of age are vulnerable to radicalization. Often they become fans of - or highly influenced by - militants through social media.
Read more: Analysis of Radical Islam in Indonesia
It is believed that around 600 Indonesians have traveled to join the war in Syria and Iraq. Part of these "Jihad" fighters return to Indonesia and could spread radical ideology or try to recruit others for Islamic State (IS). Therefore, one of the priorities of Indonesian police is to monitor those who return.
False News & Hoaxes: Threat to National Security
Besides terrorism, Karnavian also sees another threat to national security in 2017: the spread of false messages on social media (or hoaxes) that ignites anger among the population. Recently, several hoaxes caused unrest, including fake news messages claiming that more than 10 million Chinese nationals were permitted to work in Indonesia. This message immediately ignited ethnic tensions.
Another example would be the blasphemy case of Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (Ahok) who is facing a court case based on the surface of a manipulated video that was uploaded on Facebook by someone who deliberately (and successfully) tried to ignite resentment against Christian, ethnic Chinese Ahok.
Karniavan said authorities need to integrate all ministries and agencies to crack down on provocations on social media. However, knowing that Ahok is facing a trial (while in fact he is the victim of a fake message on social media) we have doubts about the seriousness of this policy.