Vice President Jusuf Kalla speaking to the media at the burned-down Pasar Klewer building in Solo, Central Java, on Dec. 29. (Antara Photo/Andika Betha)

VP Kalla: No Need to Worry About US Security Warning

JANUARY 05, 2015

Jakarta. Vice President Jusuf Kalla says that regardless of a recent warning issued by the US embassy, Indonesia is not facing any imminent security threat.

"Every country has the right to issue a warning for its citizens, it's up to them," Kalla said. "Maybe it was based on one of their intelligence reports, it's fine with us — it's just like when we issue a travel warning for our people," Kalla said in Jakarta on Monday.

But Kalla insisted that Indonesia was safe.

"Do you see any trouble? We only have the AirAsia trouble and that's an extraordinary situation," Kalla said, referring to the crash of AirAsia flight QZ8501 on Dec. 28.

The embassy’s security warning was issued on Saturday for hotels and banks in Surabaya associated with the United States.

“The US Embassy has been made aware of a potential threat against US-associated hotels and banks in Surabaya, Indonesia,” a statement on the embassy website said. “The US Embassy recommends heightened vigilance and awareness of one’s surroundings when visiting such facilities.”

The statement did not expand on the nature of the threat.

However, A.M. Hendropriyono, a former chief of the State Intelligence Agency (BIN), said on Monday that the issuance of the alert was related to the threat emanating from IS, which is outlawed in Indonesia but does have sympathizers here.

“[The warning] is related to ISIS activity. From our own threat analysis it is clear that ISIS is still present,” said Hendropriyono, who is currently an adviser to the administration of President Joko Widodo.

The Islamic State movement is commonly known in Indonesia as ISIS, which stands for Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Insp. Gen. Anas Yusuf, the chief of East Java Police, told reporters on Sunday night that he had not been officially informed of the decision by the US embassy to issue a warning, but that his officers would nonetheless secure all vital objects associated with American interests.

“We’ll provide the best service we can,” Anas said.