Indonesia steps up security for next month's Asian Games

Indonesian anti-terror personnel and their dogs take part in a security drill near the venues of the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta on July 25, 2018.
Indonesian anti-terror personnel and their dogs take part in a security drill near the venues of the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta on July 25, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

JAKARTA - All participants in the upcoming Asian Games in Indonesia can count on a massive joint effort by the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) and police to keep them safe from terrorist attacks, Air Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto said on Wednesday (July 25).

"It is very important for us to provide safety for athletes, officials, domestic and foreign spectators, ensuring that threat to security from terrorist attacks will be manageable by simulating possible occurrences," said the TNI Commander  after a counter-terrorism simulation exercise in Jakarta.

On Tuesday, Indonesian authorities prosecuted for the first time a terrorist group as an entity, stepping up their fight against terrorism ahead of the upcoming Asiad next month and the International Monetary Fund-World Bank meetings in October.

Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) was charged with being an organisation that has played a key role in widespread terrorism, the loss of lives and the destruction of property since 2016.

Members of the Indonesian extremist network have intensified their attacks recently, carrying out coordinated suicide bombings of three churches and the local police station in the country's second largest city, Surabaya, in May, which killed 14 people.

The TNI and police will concentrate on three provinces where games venues are located, namely Jakarta, West Java and South Sumatra, Mr Hadi said.

He also said personnel would be deployed to escort state leaders visiting the capital for the opening ceremony of the games.

 
 
 

Indonesia will welcome 16,000 participants, comprising a record 11,000 athletes and 5,000 officials, in addition to more than 100,000 spectators during the quadrennial multi-sport event to be held from Aug 18 to Sept 2.

Earlier the police said that 60,000 TNI and police personnel will be stationed during the event.

Counter-terrorism chief Suhardi Alius told reporters after the exercise that security operations will be jointly handled by the military, police and the National Counter-Terrorism Agency (BNPT), to enable the games to run peacefully.

"Like TNI Commander said, we want to provide comfort to all Asian Games participants and hope it can go smoothly," Detik news quoted him as saying.