The Indonesian military chief’s statement that militant group Islamic State (IS) has a presence in all but one of the country’s provinces has been called into question by analysts, with some noting it might be an attempt to discredit the police in its fight against terrorism.
General Gatot Nurmantyo said on Monday that there are clandestine IS cells across the sprawling Indonesian archipelago, save for the predominantly Christian province of Papua.
Terrorism analyst Jasminder Singh believes, however, that General Nurmantyo’s comments should not be downplayed completely.
“The demonstrations against Jakarta’s former governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama last year are a good indicator that the ideology of Islamism is very deep-rooted and has been exploited for political objectives,” Mr Singh, who is with the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, told TODAY.
Mr Singh added that as the IS loses ground in Iraq and Syria, the threat of returning fighters is “real” and therefore cannot be ignored.
Last updated on 16/06/2017