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Indonesia's Widodo Seeks Terror Law Review

  • Andy Lala

FILE - Armed police stand outside the Starbucks cafe where an attack occurred on Thursday, in Jakarta, Indonesia, Jan. 15, 2016.

FILE - Armed police stand outside the Starbucks cafe where an attack occurred on Thursday, in Jakarta, Indonesia, Jan. 15, 2016.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Tuesday called for a parliamentary review of the country's anti-terror law after Islamic State-linked militants struck at the heart of Jakarta on Thursday, leaving eight people dead, including four attackers.

Addressing a high-level security meeting in the capital, Widodo emphasized the need to amend the 2003 law so that it prohibits citizens from joining terrorist groups operating in conflict-ridden Iraq and Syria, and bans the return of citizens who went there to fight alongside terrorists. Hundreds of supporters of radical terrorist organizations have shuttled between Indonesia and Syria.

Thursday's attacks in Jakarta have raised concern throughout Asia that the Islamic State group is attempting to create a caliphate in Indonesia, which has the largest Muslim population in the world.

FILE - Indonesia's President Joko Widodo visits a store near Thursday's gun and bomb attack in central Jakarta, Jan. 15, 2016.

FILE - Indonesia's President Joko Widodo visits a store near Thursday's gun and bomb attack in central Jakarta, Jan. 15, 2016.

Parliamentary speaker Zulkifli Hasan responded to Widodo's remarks by confirming strong support for the amendment across all political parties.

Hasan told reporters the proposed revisions would include a clause preventing terror training and establishing a legal basis for police to take action against citizens traveling abroad to join radical militants.

Indonesia has been the target of several terrorist attacks, most notably the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, mostly foreign tourists.

VOA Indonesia service correspondent Fathiyah Wardah contributed to this report.

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