Australia cautions Indonesia travellers of ‘advanced stage’ terror attack plans

In fresh traveling advice, Canberra government says travellers should exercise a high degree of caution, in wake of Januarys bombing in Jakarta

Australia has warned that recent information it has received suggests terrorists may be in the advanced stages of preparing attacks in Indonesia, a month after the worst militant ten-strike in the country since 2009.

The Australian department of foreign affairs said in a short bulletin on Thursday that travellers should exert a high degree of caution in the south-east Asian nation, including Bali.

It did not dedicate further details on the type of attack that it believes is being prepared. The overall level of advice has not changed, it said.

Indonesia has drawn up plans for tougher anti-terrorism statutes following a militant assault in downtown Jakarta in January that was claimed by Islamic State. Four men entered the business district with handguns and explosives. Eight people were killed, including the gunmen.

Local police said the attackers had taken inspiration from Novembers atrocity in Paris, which left 130 dead.

Domestic separatist groups have operated in the country for decades. It is estimated that between 500 and 700 Indonesians have joined Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, and the government has expressed concern that their return home could presage attacks.

The Indonesian foreign affairs ministry said on Thursday that 217 Indonesian nationals had been detained in or deported from countries overseas as they were linked to terrorist groups, according to news portal tempo.co. Most instances were in Turkey, it said.

The country suffered its deadliest attack in 2002, when 202 people including 88 Australians were killed in three bomb attacks in Bali, a tourist hotspot. Several each member of Jemaah Islamiyeh, an Islamist militia group, were convicted.

Several big bombings followed until 2009, when the radical groups operations were undermined by the authorities.

The emergence of Islamic State in Syria and Iraq has raised concerns that the networks will be reinforced. There have been increasingly frequent bomb menaces over the last year.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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