Indonesia mulls new security steps to prevent terror attacks

Updated: 2016-01-18 20:27


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JAKARTA - Indonesia is mulling new measures to help prevent terror attacks before they were launched, following the suicide bombing in Jakarta last week that killed eight people and injured some 20 others, a minister said here on Monday.

The new steps include a revision of the terrorism law that would give the country's security agencies the authority to conduct arrests on those suspected to launch terror attacks, coordinating minister for politics, legal and security affairs, Luhut Panjaitan said.

The government will also intensify their surveillance of ex-prisoners, who were charged with terrorism, after their release, said Irfan Idris, spokesman of the national counter-terrorism agency or BNPT.

Minister Luhut said that the government would propose to the parliament the revision of the country's terrorism law and expect the change to be completed this year.

"We will propose revision to the parliament. The revision includes the rights to conduct arrests and detention when needed for collecting information," he said at the State Palace.

"Hence, we can prevent unexpected things from happening," Luhut said.

The Indonesian government proposed to the parliament to do so in 2001, but it was rejected by the lawmakers amid concerns that the rights for the arrests and detention would be misused for political purpose.

However, recent attacks witnessed in the country may cause lawmakers to reconsider.

Spokesman of the BNPT said that hundreds of ex-prisoners are planning to go to Syria to join the Islamic States movement there.

The movement of all the ex-prisoners who were released from jail last year are now being monitored by the agency, said Irfan.

Police have asked the immigration office to stop them from going to Syria or Iraq, he said.