Special operations units from Indonesia’s air force, army and navy are set to play a larger role in the war on terror, following a recent spate of attacks on churches and the police across the country.
Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko confirmed on Monday (May 21) that the military’s Joint Special Operations Command has been reactivated.
President Joko Widodo last Friday gave the green light for the Indonesian armed forces (TNI) to support the police in counter-terrorism operations at home.
The move comes as Indonesia is reeling from the coordinated suicide-bombings on three churches in Surabaya, East Java, which killed 14 people as Sunday morning services were about to begin on May 14. The local police station in the country’s second-largest city was also hit the next day.
The suicide attacks on both days were mounted by sleeper cells led by Indonesian militants loyal to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).