TNI to form new elite surveillance and cyber unit to combat terrorism

Tribune News – January 16, 2019
Defence MinisterRyamizard Ryacudu (left) and Hadi Tjahjanto – January 16, 2019 (Tribune)
Defence MinisterRyamizard Ryacudu (left) and Hadi Tjahjanto – January 16, 2019 (Tribune)

Rizal Bomantama, Jakarta – Indonesian military (TNI) commander Air Martial Hadi Tjahjanto says that the TNI’s new Special Operational Command (Koopsus) will be involved in combating terrorism and play a direct role in surveillance and close-quarter observation.

Tjahjanto conveyed this following a leadership meeting at the Department of Defense in Central Jakarta on Wednesday January 16.

“[This is] related to Law Number 5/2018 on terrorism. The TNI in this case has proposed the formation of a TNI Koopsus, where the TNI’s Koopsus will [play] a part as an actor. But the role of the TNI’s Koopsus will be surveillance”, said Tjahjanto.

Tjahjanto explained that the elite troops will be tasked with gathering data on terrorist sleeper cells to gain an understanding of their movements.

“We will gather data on sleeper cells, then their movements, and what they plan to do”, said Tjahjanto.

The elite team will also have cyber expertise. “Cyber (expertise) will also be part of the TNI Koopsus capacity so that we can see the flow of information, whether or not it is a threat or indeed just ordinary information”, said Tjahjanto.

In addition to this the cyber team will be used to protect the TNI’s equipment or information systems. “God willing it will be formed this year”, he said.

As has been previously reported, on Wednesday January 9 Tjahjanto held a meeting with the House of Representatives (DPR) Commission I to discuss the budget for the Koopsus.

Tjahjanto said that the budget proposed for the Koopsus was 1.5 trillion rupiah. This will be allocated for the development of infrastructure and the purchase of special items including weapons.

“Most of it will be for infrastructure and special equipment because special troops are different from others because they need special equipments for their operations”, said Tjahjanto.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Koopsus TNI Akan Kerjakan Tugas Surveilance yang Dilengkapi Keahlian Siber”.]