Jakarta. Indonesia needs international support and cooperation to combat the militant group Islamic State, or IS, said the head of the country’s top anti-terrorist department on Monday.
“Indonesia’s legal stance toward IS is clear. It’s a terrorist group and therefore it should face the full force of the law,” said Ansyaad Mbai, chairman of the National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT), at a discussion on the matter at Hotel Borobudur in Jakarta.
“To do so, we need support from all related stakeholders especially from countries where the terrorist group is operating,” Ansyaad said, referring to Iraq and Syria.
“To enforce the law, we need accurate and valid evidence from Iraq and Syria” about Indonesian citizens who are there, he said.
“What has been committed by IS has been cursed by God,” said Said Aqil Siradj, chairman of the executive board of Nahdlatul Ulama, the country’s largest Islamic organization. “Any violence on behalf of Islam is not approved by the religion itself.”
Ansyaad said that 34 Indonesian jihadists who flew to Iraq and Syria in support of IS have been identified as former terrorists. They had once been detained in Indonesian prisons, he added.
He also said that countries with advanced technology should take part in combating the spread of terrorism, which is proliferating through the Internet. YouTube has been one of the social media used by IS to upload videos of its violent actions.
“IS is a threat to us all, and it’s our concern to stop them” from becoming stronger, he said.
The government this month denounced Islamic extremism, but police officials have found evidence of IS’s presence in some provinces.
Dino Patti Djalal, deputy foreign affairs minister, said that the government has agreed to solidly prohibit IS.
“Islamic State is a new diplomatic phenomenon, and we’re still trying to comprehend the matter,” he said.
“Indonesia with ‘negara-negara sahabat’ [friendly countries] will soon meet to discuss and to share information about IS,” he said. “Indonesia prohibits its citizens from joining the jihadist movement in the Middle East. We hope that this unity [of Indonesia] will continue.”