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ICC Note: In an attempt to prevent possible terrorist attacks during Christmas season, the Indonesian police has arrested 18 people and put them in detention. These suspects are mostly linked to previous incidents or convicted individuals. Indonesia has 20 people killed in church attacks on Christmas Eve in 2000 and thus wants to take preemptive measure to protect the country.

12/13/2017 Indonesia (Christian Daily) – Indonesia’s anti-terrorism police took 18 people connected to militant groups into custody as part of a pre-emptive campaign to reduce the risk of attacks during the Christmas season, authorities said recently.

The Muslim-majority country has been beefing up security ahead of the Christmas holidays since almost 20 people were killed in simultaneous church attacks on Christmas Eve in 2000. Police chief Tito Karnavian said they have no proof there would be a terror attempt this year, but they detained the suspects to prevent such attacks from happening in churches and public places, Reuters relayed.

“We’re doing a pre-emptive strike,” Karnavian told the media. “The majority of them have links to previous incidents (and people) who we had arrested earlier.”

Police spokesman Setyo Wasisto explained that their anti-terrorism laws allowed authorities to detain individuals while determining if they should be released or not. This year, they took 12 people into custody in South Sumatra, four in West Kalimantan, and one each in East Java and Surabaya in Malang.

Christians and government entities have been among the targets of militant attacks in Indonesia in the last few years. Because of this, police have been striving to either eliminate or weaken militant networks in the country, especially after the Islamic State inspired a rise in radicalism in the Muslim-dominated country.

Last month, two individuals who were suspected of setting the police station complex in Dharmasraya regency in West Sumatra on fire were killed by police. The suspects had attacked the cops with bows and arrows, Reuters said in a separate report.


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