Indonesia, Australia to Continue Counterterrorism Cooperation


JUNE 05, 2018

Jakarta. Indonesia and Australia have agreed to continue cooperation in counterterrorism and cyber security, Chief Security Minister Wiranto said on Monday (04/06).

"We agreed to coordinate efforts with Australia to tackle terrorism. We also discussed how we can cut off terrorism financing," Wiranto said, after a meeting in Jakarta with recently appointed Australian Ambassador Gary Quinlan.

"We need to work together to accelerate our cyber capabilities, and to balance the fast regional and global developments," Wiranto said.

Since the 2002 Bali bomb attack that killed 88 Australians, the neighbor has been in close counterterrorism cooperation with Indonesia, helping the latter to fight the Jamaah Islamiyah terrorist group responsible for the bombing.

Today, Indonesia faces new threats from the Islamic State, which is trying to have a foothold in Southeast Asia.

According to a statement issued by the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, another special meeting is planned by Indonesia and Australia with Malaysia, the Philippines, New Zealand and Brunei.

This will be a follow-up to a meeting in July 2017, when the six countries agreed to synchronize law enforcement efforts and share intelligence on terrorist activities.

Last year, Indonesia adopted several approaches to step up security and tackle emerging threats, including stronger cooperation with Malaysia and the Philippines as a response to the hostile takeover of Marawi City in southern Philippines by Islamic militants.

The siege prompted concerns from Indonesia and Malaysia, which feared that militants could flee to nearby North Maluku and Sabah.

Last month, Indonesia saw the deadliest series of terrorist attacks on its soil, when terrorism convicts at the detention center of the National Police's Mobile Brigade (Brimob) in Depok, West Java, instigated a days-long riot and killed five officers. The incident was followed by suicide bombings in East Java, which killed 28 people.

The House of Representatives approved revisions to the 2003 Antiterrorism Law on May 25, after more than two years of deliberations, allowing tougher preventive measures to reduce the risk of attacks by terrorists.