U.S. Needs More Focus on Terrorist Threat in Indonesia

| Alasdair Gordon
Alasdair Gordon
Former Senior National Security Officer, Australian Government

Recent terrorist incidents in Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world, with a population of 260 million, have again raised concerns about growing extremist Islamist influence in the archipelago.

May bombings in Surabaya, on the Eastern side of Indonesia’s largest Island, Java, were particularly horrific because of the use of young children as suicide bombers.  The attacks on Police Stations, including the taking and execution of hostages, were also deeply worrying because they were clearly directed at a pillar of the State.

These attacks are the latest manifestation of the dangers of foreign fighters, and their families, returning from conflict in the Middle East, and their links to IS. But they may be more worrying than that. They may well say more about the the rise of fundamentalist Islam, with violent extremist elements, both in Indonesia and the region.

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The Author is Alasdair Gordon

Alasdair Gordon served for 32 years in national security with the Australian Government. He has had extensive experience in South East and North Asia, and in the South Pacific. He has also held senior positions in national security in Canberra. He is currently CEO of Shearwater LLC, based in Washington DC.

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