Muslim Cyber Army spread fake news on religious attacks, resurgence of PKI

Source – February 27, 2018
Police public information division chief Mohammad Iqbal (Kompas)
Police public information division chief Mohammad Iqbal (Kompas)

Ambaranie Nadia, Kemala Movanita, Jakarta – The national police say that The Family Muslim Cyber Army (MCA) has not just been spreading provocative news on religion, ethnicity and race, but also on attacks against religious figures and the resurgence of the PKI.

Recently, these issues have gone viral on social media and most of the reports being spread are hoaxes or fake news.

“Provocative news such as spreading negative issues about the PKI [the banned Indonesian Communist Party], also about attacks on ulama [Islamic scholars]”, said Public Information Division Chief Brigadier General Mohammad Iqbal at the National Police headquarters in Jakarta on Tuesday February 27.

In addition to this, the group has also been spreading hateful ideas about the president and other government officials.

The police seized material evidence of these crimes when the suspects were arrested. “We have seized material evidence for the criminal investigation in the form of electronic devices”, said Iqbal.

Aside from spreading provocative news, the suspects also spread content containing malware to particular groups. “If they get this virus it will damage electronic devices, our mobile phones can be damaged”, said Iqbal.

The motive of the MCA group in spreading this news is still unknown. The national police’s Criminal Investigation Bureau Cyber Crime Directorate plans to issue a release on the arrest and motives of the suspects on Wednesday.

Earlier, police arrested five members of the WhatsApp group “The Family MCA”. The five suspects arrested were Muhammad Luth (40) who was arrested in Tanjung Priok (Jakarta), Rizki Surya Dharma (35) in Pangkal Pinang (Bangka Belitung), Ramdani Saputra (39) in Bali, Yuspiadin (24) in Sumedang (West Java) and Romi Chelsea in Palu (Central Sulawesi).

The content spread by the perpetrators covered the issue of the resurgence of the PKI, the abduction of ulama and defamation against the president, the government and other national figures.

The perpetrators also spread content containing malware to people or rival groups resulting in the recipients’ electronic devices being damaged.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was Kelompok Muslim Cyber Army Sebarkan Hoaks Penganiayaan Ulama dan PKI.]