Chief Security Minister Wiranto, left, greets Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton ahead of a subregional meeting on counterterrorism in Jakarta on Tuesday. (Photo courtesy of Australia's Ministry for Home Affairs)

Jakarta Hosts Subregional Security Meeting Focused on Changing Terrorist Strategies


NOVEMBER 07, 2018

Nusa Dua. Chief Security Minister Wiranto and Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton led a subregional meeting on counterterrorism in Jakarta on Tuesday to discuss changing terrorist strategies and tactics.

"Terrorists have modified both their strategies and patterns of attack. They used to act as one organization, but now their attacks come from smaller units, or from self-initiated plans or lone wolves, also involving women and children," the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs said in a statement.

In his opening address, Dutton said the meeting serves as an important and timely opportunity to discuss "the insidious and ever-adaptive threat of terrorism."

"Regrettably, the threat of terrorism has not abated. Recent attacks in Indonesia were a sobering reminder of the influence of Islamic State in our region," he said, referring to the series of attacks in Surabaya, East Java, in May.

Dutton added that the attacks were a reminder of the importance of regional cooperation to "combat this very real and persistent threat."

He said one of the emerging challenges in the region is new and evolving technologies, such as encryption used by terrorists.

Representatives of Brunei, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand also participated in the meeting held to promote cooperation between governments and civil society organizations to prevent the spread of radical and extremist ideologies.

"Enhanced cooperation with regional and global partners is imperative to get ahead of terrorist networks, their technology and their tactics," Dutton said.

Wiranto meanwhile touched on how former terrorists can be part of counterterrorism strategies.

"They can be used to dismantle existing networks of foreign terrorist fighters," he said, as quoted by Suara Pembaruan.

He added that foreign fighters pose as a real threat to the region because they have received training and experience in conflict areas, such as Syria and Iraq, where Islamic State is most active.

The inaugural subregional meeting on counterterrorism took place in Manado, North Sulawesi, in July last year. This year's meeting was initially scheduled for Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, in August but had to be postponed after a series of powerful earthquakes rocked the island.