Indonesian military to establish anti-terror force

Indonesian military to establish anti-terror force

The Indonesian Military (TNI) will create an anti-terror task force comprising special personnel from the Navy, Army and Air Force who will support the National Police in dealing with terrorism.

The new force will tackle critical security issues such as terrorism, as well as off-shore and border threats.

"The concept has been prepared. It will be a force that is ready to be deployed at any time," TNI chief Gen. Moeldoko told The Jakarta Post in a recent interview.

According to Moeldoko, the group will be formed just like the quick reaction striking force or PPCR, which conducted exercises in Poso, Central Sulawesi, several weeks ago.

"[We will deploy the new force] depending on the situation. If the threat is only of low or medium intensity, the threat will still be the police's responsibility. We will move when the threat is very serious or of high intensity," Moeldoko added.

The new force will work together with the police during their operations to prevent overlapping duties with the police's anti-terror force Densus 88.

"[The tasks of the anti-terror units] will be different, but we have the same goal," said Moeldoko, who will retire later this year.

The TNI chief revealed that one of the serious threats to Indonesia was the proliferation of the Islamic State (IS) movement in Indonesia.

"Indonesia should take the ongoing issue of IS very seriously to prevent this radical movement getting out of hand," he said

On Monday, a video was posted on YouTube titled "ISIS Ancam Nusakambangan Untuk Bebaskan Abu Bakar Ba'asyir" or "ISIS threatens Nusakambangan prison in order to free Abu Bakar Ba'asyir".

The 3.03 minute-video showed a man whose was face covered by a black scarf vowing to free terrorist convicts Abu Bakar Ba'asyir and Aman Abdurrahman from a penitentiary in Nusakambangan Island, Central Java.

Ba'asyir and Abdurrahman are currently serving their sentences in prisons on Nusakambangan prison island in Central Java.

Both men are IS supporters. Terrorism experts have claimed that Abdurrahman is the person who translates IS teachings from Arabic into the Indonesian language and plays an important role in recruiting IS followers from Indonesia.

Besides promising to free the two convicts, the man in the video also threatened the TNI.

Confirming the threats on Tuesday, Moeldoko said that the TNI was always ready.

"It's OK. We will just wait for what [the terrorists] do. We will then wipe them out," he told reporters at the Marine base in Cilandak, South Jakarta.

Moeldoko said that Nusakambangan island was now under TNI supervision as the TNI had security posts in every corner of the island.

Although the TNI is ready to fight, Moeldoko suggested the government should make preventive efforts to tackle IS influence in Indonesia.

"IS develops faster in a country that has no stability. We need the people to play a role in stopping the radical movement," Moeldoko said.

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