Indonesian Police find ISIS propaganda targeting children
A police Spokeswoman said on Monday that Indonesian police have found hundreds of books containing Daesh (ISIS or ISIL) propaganda targeting children at the home of a suspect arrested in connection with the stabbing death of an officer.
Another suspected militant was shot and killed by police during Sunday’s attack on a police station in Medan, the capital of North Sumatra province, Daily Star reported.
The wife of the arrested man told police her husband had spent six months in Syria in 2013, police Spokeswoman Rina Sari Ginting said, adding this was still being investigated.
Police believe the men were part of Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), an umbrella organization on a US State Department “terrorist” list which supports Daesh and has hundreds of Indonesian followers.
“We can see from the pattern of their attack that it is likely they belong to the JAD network,” Ginting stressed.
There is concern about a rise of militancy in Indonesia, which has the world’s biggest Muslim population. Daesh sympathisers have carried out a series of mostly low-level attacks over the past few years, and there are fears about the return of hundreds of Indonesians who have gone to Syria to support Daesh.
Ginting said that the books aimed at children found at the home of the arrested man were written in Indonesian and included pictures and messages supportive of dying in jihad or holy war, adding that they appeared to be designed and printed by the suspect.
Police believe the suspects had intended not only to kill police during Sunday’s knife attack but also to seize their guns.
Out of 12 people being questioned in connection with the attack, one had been made a suspect and is alleged to have helped the attackers by surveying the police headquarters.
Police were also investigating whether the attackers were linked to three suspected militants who were arrested on June 6 in the area by anti-terrorism police.
Meanwhile, the military chief in Jakarta disclosed that Daesh is present in almost all the Indonesian provinces as the Middle East-based Takfiri terrorist group is expanding its foothold in Southeast Asia.
There are Daesh cells “in almost every province,” General Gatot Nurmantyo told reporters.
He said that “they are sleeper cells,” adding that “these sleeper cells can easily join up with other radical cells.”
Militants have launched several terrorist attacks across Indonesia over the past few years. Indonesian law enforcement agencies have also arrested hundreds of militants during a sustained crackdown in recent years.
Indonesia and neighboring Malaysia and the Philippines have geared up to confront the threats posed by Daesh militants gaining a foothold in the region. The Takfiri outfit is mainly based in the Middle East, where at least 400 Indonesians have reportedly joined the group, fighting the governments in Iraq and Syria. Dozens of the extremists have returned home.
Nurmantyo’s remarks underlined concerns about the increasing influence of ISIL in Southeast Asia.
Governments across the region have been on high alert since terrorists from local militant groups, which have pledged allegiance to Daesh, overran Philippines’ Southern city of Marawi weeks ago, as the Philippine military is involved in aerial and ground operations in the city.
Indonesian and Malaysian officials have beefed up security measures on their shared borders with the Philippines to prevent militants from escaping from Marawi.