BATAM (Jakarta Post/Asia News Network) - The Riau Islands Police have strengthened security measures and monitoring activities in ports of entry and outermost islands to prevent terrorists from infiltrating the province.
The extra measures were taken following terror attacks in several countries and in response to the situation in Marawi, southern Philippines, which was recently attacked by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) extremist group.
"We are applying tighter monitoring to Indonesian people returning from Malaysia because information reveals many Indonesian citizens have been involved with insurgencies in Mindanao," said Riau Islands Police head Inspector General Sambudi Gusdian on Friday.
Batam, the largest city in the province, now serves five international ferry routes. These include two routes, which connect Batam and Johor Bahru, Malaysia, and depart from Ferry Batam Centre Terminal and Harbour Bay in Batu Ampar.
These two routes are often used by Indonesian workers who want to go to Malaysia.
Sambudi said the police would also monitor beaches as they could be used as entrance points into Indonesia.
The police were increasing monitoring activities on people and groups indicated to have been involved in radical movements, he added. The increased monitoring comes in response to a recent statement from National Counterterrorism Agency's (BNPT) , which stated that Riau Islands is an area prone to radical movements.
"It has become a transit point for radical group members. Singapore authorities have apprehended several alleged radical groups members reportedly departing from Batam," said Riau Islands Police intelligence and security director Sr. Comr. Musa Tampubolon.