Indonesia on high alert in wake of Australia warning

Indonesia tracking 'terrorists' from various networks believed to be connected to - or influenced by - ISIL

Indonesia on high alert in wake of Australia warning

World Bulletin / News Desk

Days after Australia said it had received information suggesting terrorists may be in the advanced stages of preparing attacks in Indonesia, the country has been placed on high alert.

Indonesian army commander Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo said Saturday that it was taking the warning seriously, and was tracking people connected to various terrorist groups located in the archipelago.

"We are cooperating with intelligence in anticipation of terror attacks," Nurmantyo was quoted as saying by Detik.com, adding that Indonesia is on high alert and will pay attention to any warnings.

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade travel advisory, which said that there were "recent indications" an attack may be in the advanced planning stages, warned that travellers should be cautious around bars, cafes, restaurants, hotels, airports, and places of worship.

It did not give further details on the type of attack it believes is being prepared.

“The overall level of advice has not changed,” it said in a short bulletin released Thursday. 

Indonesia's national police chief, Badrodin Haiti, said Saturday that following January's assault in downtown Jakarta -- in which eight people were killed, including the gunmen -- police had been anticipating further acts, but underlined that the advice was issued as an advisory, not a warning.

He said that since the attack on the capital, police had arrested 40 people, 19 of whom were involved in the Jakarta incident while dozens of others planned to carry out further attacks.

He added that of the 19 arrested, six were directly involved in preparatory acts, such as preparing explosives and purchasing firearms.

All are to be charged with terrorism bill, facing jail terms between four and 20 years or the death penalty.

Police have said that the 40 being held are from various terrorist groups in Indonesia, which include networks organised by Abu Wardah Santoso, Salim Mubarok Attamimi (also known also as Abu Jandal al Yemeni al Indonesi), Aman Abdurrahman, and Bahrun Naim.

They are all known to have claimed allegiance to ISIL.

A combined force of 2,000 police and army officers is presently hunting Santoso, the leader of an eastern Indonesian terror cell, in the jungles of Poso, Central Sulawesi.

He is suspected of involvement in the killing of a number of policemen and civilians.

Attamimi is reported to be a recruiter of Indonesians to join ISIL in Syria, and has appeared in videos challenging Indonesia's army, and saying he wants to establish an Islamic caliphate in the country.

Abdurrahman, meanwhile, is suspected of having masterminded the Jakarta attack with Bahrun Naim. While Naim has been in Syria since 2015, Abdurrahman is held at Jakarta's high security Cipinang prison.

Abdurrahman -- jailed in 2010 on charges of helping militants train in northern Aceh province -- claims to be the leader of an umbrella organization of ISIL supporting extremist groups in Indonesia, known as Jemaah Ansar Khilafah Daulah Nusantara.

Reports have said that Naim has expertise in bomb making and recruiting ISIL sympathizers via the Internet.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Şubat 2016, 09:30
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