Indonesia Uses New Anti-Terror Law to Detain Suspects Ahead of Christmas

12/21/2018 Indonesia (International Christian Concern) – Indonesian national police chief Tito Karnavian said they have detained about 20 suspected militants as security is reinforced ahead of the Christmas and New Year’s holiday season.

These detentions were made as preventive measure under a revised anti-terrorism law approved in May, after Islamic State followers attacked churches and police with suicide bombs, killing more than 30 people in the city of Surabaya, he said.

As the world’s largest Muslim-majority country, Indonesia’s “Pancasila,” a term demanding respect for the country’s formally recognized religions – Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Confucianism has been under threat as radicalized Islam is growing inside the country and scores of Indonesians have travelled to the Middle East to join the Islamic State group.

Attacks on churches in the nation’s capital, Jakarta, and elsewhere on Christmas Eve in 2000, claimed the lives of nearly 20 people. Ever since, authorities have stepped up security at churches and tourist spots during the holiday season.

Although no name was given for the detained suspects, under the revised law, anyone suspected of plotting an attack can be held for up to 21 days for an initial inquiry and for up to 200 days for a formal investigation.

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