With Indonesia celebrating its 72nd Independence Day on Aug. 17, police have tightened security measures and warned the public to stay vigilant after uncovering a potential terror plot from a local Islamic State (IS) linked network.
National Police Spokesman Insp. Gen. Setyo Wasisto said authorities were alerted to the plot after intercepting plans on messaging app Telegram.
The plan was allegedly masterminded by the IS-affiliated Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), with the group calling on members to attack police and military personnel – who were referred as thoghut (infidels) – as well as civilians at public ceremonies.
The messages reportedly encouraged would-be attackers to use any means necessary, including stabbing, shooting, throwing plastic bottles packed with nails, alcohol and chlorine or even ramming groups of people while driving.
Investigators are tracing the owner of the Telegram account, who also sent a message with instructions on creating a homemade bomb.
“All of our members are instructed to work at least in pairs,” Wasisto told Tempo.
Police reminded the public keen to celebrate the event to remain vigilant, but not to be afraid. Wasisto said authorities are prepared for a potential attack and have set up precautions, including the development of a quick response to vehicles being used to ram crowds as in recent attacks in Europe.
Image credits: Tempo