Islamic State supporters detected in capital, says Indonesian military

An intelligence official in Jakarta has revealed that hundreds of the capital's residents support the Islamic State (IS) organisation, also known as ISIL.

Jakarta Military District Command assistant for security and intelligence Col. Sony Aprianto said hundreds of residents had expressed their support for IS.

"We recorded on March 16 that around 400 people rallied at the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle, showing their support for the Islamic State, while on July 6 about 800 people pledged allegiance to the Islamic State at the UIN [State Islamic University] Syarif Hidayatullah [in Ciputat, Tangerang]," Sony said during an intelligence forum at City Hall on Friday.

Sony added that the Indonesian Military's (TNI) Strategic Intelligence Agency (BAIS) and the National Intelligence Agency (BIN) had identified 60-80 Indonesians who had left Indonesia to fight in Syria.

"Most of them were members of Islamic organisations and students studying in Arab countries," he said.

The agencies had identified organisations - mostly Islamic groups - operating in Indonesia who either supported or were against IS.

"In the country, there are a number of groups that have expressed support for the movement, including [radical groups] Jamaah Islamiyah, the Islamic Sharia Activists Forum, Jamaah Ansharut Tauhid [JAT], led by [firebrand cleric] Abu Bakar Ba'asyir, and Syam Mujahid.

"Meanwhile, groups who are against the Islamic State include [Islamic organisation Nahdlatul Ulama's youth wing] GP Ansor, [Islamic organisation] Muhammadiyah, ICMI [Associaton of Indonesian Muslim Intellectuals] and [hard-line group] the FPI [Islam Defenders Front]," Sony said.

He acknowledged that the rise in radicalism in Indonesia had encouraged people to join the global jihad.

Sony also recommended the government block the passports of Indonesians leaving for Syria to join IS.

"We must closely monitor Indonesians leaving for countries in conflict. We also call on religious leaders to enlighten their followers," he said.

Deputy Jakarta Police chief Brig. Gen. Sujarno said the city police would disband any movement affiliated with IS.

"We've carried out preventive measures by distributing leaflets on the Islamic State through Babinsa [village supervisory non-commissioned officers], Babin Kamtibmas [police public order officers] and neighborhood and community unit heads. We hope residents will involve themselves in prevention measures," he said.

Sujarno also encouraged neighborhood unit leaders to monitor newcomers in their respective areas.

"We should revive the rule that newcomers should report to the neighborhood unit head within 24 hours of arriving in a new area," he said.

Sujarno said the police would impose the law, ranging from criminal to terrorism laws, on IS supporters in Indonesia.

The leaflet distributed by the police mentioned Article 160 of the Criminal Code (KUHP) on provoking others to commit crimes or violate the law, with a maximum penalty of six years in jail, and Law No.15/2003 on terrorism.

Jakarta Deputy Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama declined to comment, leaving the matter to the security authorities.

The Jakarta Police will boost security in the coming months to anticipate important events, including the inaugurations of newly-elected legislators and the new president and vice president.