ISIS propaganda has spread to five provinces in Indonesia: Police

A resident painting over an ISIS flag in Solo, Central Java.
A resident painting over an ISIS flag in Solo, Central Java.PHOTO: TEMPO

JAKARTA (Jakarta Post/Asia News Network) - The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria's (ISIS) extremist propaganda is believed to have spread to at least five Indonesian provinces: East Java, Lampung, Central Sulawesi, South Sulawesi and West Sulawesi, a police spokesman said.

The official, National Police Inspector General Anton Charliyan, told news portal tempo.com on Wednesday that the East Indonesian Mujahidin (MIT) terrorist group led by Abu Wardah, also known as Santoso, in Poso, Central Sulawesi, was part of the ISIS network and had allegedly received funds and other assistance from the global extremist group.

"The Santoso group is part of the ISIS network. You can see that the Poso terror group even has antitank weapons," said IG Anton in Makassar, South Sulawesi, adding that the police was currently hunting down Poso terrorists in an operation called Camar Maleo IV.

The National Police's current main target, said IG Anton, was capturing Santoso, who is the country's terrorist kingpin and allegedly still hiding in the forests with dozens of followers.

"It's not easy to break into the terrorist lair, but we keep on trying," said the spokesman.

Previously, National Police chief Badrodin Haiti said Santoso had recently spread terrorist threats, which included a nine-minute video that appeared on social media like Facebook and called for attacks on Jakarta Police headquarters and the Presidential Palace this weekend.

The authorities blocked the video on Monday.