On Thursday, Australian authorities issued a warning for Indonesia due to intelligence relating to a specific terror threat. The Australian Consulate in Surabaya – which opened earlier this month – has increased security measures for staff as a precaution.

Media reports that threats to kill an official at an event at Airlangga University were made online. According to the Straits Times, a source said the threat was made on Telegram and is ‘not that credible’, apparently being made from the Netherlands. The Australian has more information on the threat and a response from police spokesman Frans Barung Mangera who said “the travel advisory is an overreaction based on information that is not credible.”

Terror threat remains

While this particular threat may not be serious, travellers should consider the terror threat while planning a trip to Indonesia.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade terrorism advice says that ‘police have stated publicly terrorist suspects remain at large and may seek Western targets‘, and that ‘since 2010, police have disrupted terrorist groups across the country, including in Bali, Java (including Jakarta), Sumatra, Sulawesi and West Nusa Tenggara.

Possible targets

The DFAT advice contains the following about potential targets

When planning activities, think about places that could be terrorist targets and the level of security provided at venues. Terrorists have previously attacked or planned to attack airports and airlines, bars and nightclubs, cafes, clubs, including sporting clubs, cinemas and theatres, international hotels, nightclubs, places of worship, restaurants, tourist areas and attractions, tour buses and tour groups.

Other possible targets include international fast food outlets, Western-branded venues, Jakarta’s embassy district and diplomatic missions elsewhere, international schools, expatriate housing compounds, Western interests and businesses, places frequented by foreigners, central business areas, office buildings, banks, public transport and transport hubs, shopping centres, premises and symbols associated with the Indonesian Government and police and outdoor recreation events.

What to do

In the wake of an attack, DFAT recommends

  • In the event of an attack, leave the area immediately if it’s safe to do so.
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities.
  • Don’t remain in an affected area or gather in a group in the aftermath of an attack or if you’re evacuated from a building for security reasons (such as a bomb threat).

Additionally, we suggest –

  • Contact your embassy as soon as possible to let them know you are safe.
  • Contact friends and family as soon as it is safe to do so. Telecomms networks may be affected by the attack – the internet might be your best way of getting a message through.


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