Taiwan investigates rumors of ISIS terror threat against Universiade

No intelligence about threat: Ministry of Interior

Taiwan supporters at a Universiade football match. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – As Taiwan’s capital prepared for the opening ceremony of the Taipei 2017 Summer Universiade later Saturday, the authorities were investigating unconfirmed rumors that Indonesian members of the terror group Islamic State (ISIS) might have entered the country posing as laborers.

Taiwan counts a significant population of Indonesian workers, many of them women involved in care for the elderly and for infants.

The Taipei City Department of Labor said it had received information from an Indonesian laborer in Taiwan Friday that some of that person’s acquaintances might be involved in terrorist organizations.

However, there was no mention of ISIS specifically or of any threat against the August 19-30 Universiade, the city department said.

Officials added they had passed on the report to the relevant police authorities, since the labor department did not have the ability to make any judgment about the reliability of the reports.

The Ministry of Interior later denied that there was any intelligence pointing to the presence or arrival of terrorists, while more than 6,800 police officers from various departments were mobilized.

President Tsai Ing-wen and Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je would be present at Saturday’s opening ceremony, leading to tightened security measures around the capital.

Trash cans on the Mass Rapid Transit system were sealed and replaced by transparent plastic bags as a precaution, reports said.