The Indonesian Military Chief has given a warning that Islamic State group (ISIS) has a widespread presence in the country and there are “Sleeper cells” established all over the Southeast Asian archipelago.
He also mentioned that surreptitious groups linked to the terrorist organization have come up in almost every province of the world’s largest Muslim majority nation.
Army major general Ganip Warsito, a territorial military commander overseeing Sulawesi and the border with the Philippines said, Members of sleeper cells have been radicalized but remain inactive. They may resort to action when there is a trigger. Such citizens may be open to harboring any escaping ISIS fighters from the Philippines if any of them ever managed to cross over to Indonesia.
Indonesian troops were previously stationed in only three islands on the border with the Philippines. As part of the stepped-up security, reinforcement was sent to all other islands in the area deemed to have the potential to be used in escape routes.
Indonesia Muslim population is known for practicing moderate forms of Islam. In recent years, however, the country of some 257 million people has seen a rise in radicalism along with occasional terror attacks and bombings.