Telly Nathalia, Jakarta – Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu told members of the House of Representatives on Thursday that an Islamic State-affiliated militant group has called for jihad in Indonesia's part of Papua Island.
The minister made the statement during a hearing with Commission I of the House – that oversees foreign affairs, security and intelligence issues – on the current security situation in Papua and West Papua.
"There is a group affiliated with the Islamic State [operating] in Papua that has called for a jihad there," Ryamizard said as quoted by kompas.com.
He did not say whether the group was involved in a series of violent protests in Papua and West Papua since Aug. 19.
According to the retired Army general, three groups had fomented tension in Indonesia's two easternmost provinces: armed rebels, political rebels and clandestine groups.
Police have confirmed Ryamizard's statement about the presence of an IS-affiliated group in Papua. National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo said the group is Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD).
In July last year, the South Jakarta District Court declared JAD a forbidden organization for its involvement in high-profile terrorist attacks in Indonesia.
"I have confirmed with [police anti-terror unit] Detachment 88 that there is a strong indication an IS group is in Papua. That has been confirmed, it is there," Dedi told Jakarta Globe on Friday.
Police said JAD's presence has been detected in Papua since two years ago and its members have been increasingly active since last year.
"They planned to bomb the Manokwari police headquarters [in West Papua] last year but Detachment 88 managed to capture them before it happened," Dedi said.
The spokesman said JAD members are now thought to be active in Jayapura, Wamena, FakFak, Manokwari and Merauke. "Their [possible] involvement in the riots [in Papua and West Papua] is still being investigated," he said.
During a series of raids in Bekasi, West Java, and in several cities in East Java this year, Detachment 88 had arrested some JAD members who had gone to Papua, Dedi said.