In late March, Indonesia faced two terror attacks in the space of a week, with a husband and wife conducting a suicide bombing at a cathedral in Makassar, South Sulawesi, and a woman attacking the Indonesian Police Headquarters in Jakarta with an airsoft gun. Indonesian police described the perpetrators of both attacks as supporters of the Islamic State, or ISIL/ISIS. The group’s supporters have been responsible for a string of attacks in Indonesia over the past five years, including attacks in Jakarta and Surabaya in 2016 and 2018, but most have caused few fatalities.
What do these recent attacks tell us about the nature of the terrorist threat in Indonesia, and how is this threat changing? Are ISIL supporters the main threat to Indonesian security or are longer-established organisations like Jemaah Islamiyah re-emerging? Why have terrorist attacks in Indonesia persisted despite the imprisonment of hundreds of terrorist perpetrators? And how well have Indonesian authorities responded to the threat of terrorism and extremism?
In this week’s Talking Indonesia podcast, Dr Dave McRae discusses these issues with Sidney Jones, director of the Jakarta-based Institute for the Policy Analysis of Conflict or IPAC, a world leading expert on jihadi terrorism in Southeast Asia.
The Talking Indonesia podcast is co-hosted by Dr Dave McRae from the University of Melbourne’s Asia Institute, Dr Jemma Purdey from Monash University, Dr Annisa Beta from the University of Melbourne’s School of Culture and Communication, and Dr Charlotte Setijadi from the Singapore Management University.