Bali Terror Plot
A father and son with links to Islamic State have been arrested in Bali, accused of plotting a terrorist attack on the holiday island.
The two men are alleged to have had arrows, bayonets, and an air-soft gun to use in the foiled attack and their arrests come as Australians and Indonesians on Saturday commemorated the 17th anniversary of the 2002 nightclub bombings which killed 200 innocent people, 88 of them Australians.
Ross Taylor, president of the Perth-basd Indonesia Institute said today the arrest of the two would-be-terrorists highlighted how well police intelligence was working.
“Since the Bali bombings in 2002, the Indonesian police, often supported by the Australian Federal Police, have vastly improved their intelligence and ant-terrorism activities”, he said. “And clearly this is working. Almost every month, police have been raiding terror cells in Indonesia, including East Java which is only a 40 minute ferry-boat ride away from Bali.”
Mr Taylor said that the likelihood of a major terrorist attack, similar to that which occurred in 2002, was now more unlikely thanks to high-quality intelligence sharing and policing, there remained a danger that small groups or individuals who were loyal to ISIS and local terror groups such as JAD, could ‘get lucky’ and commit an attack.
“Such an attack, whilst relatively small, could kill people. These small break-away groups or individuals are much harder to monitor”, said Mr Taylor.
“The Bali Straits that separates Bali from Java is serviced by some 80 forty minute ferry crossings per day, and could represent a relatively easy means of transporting terrorist arms or bombs into Bali”.
"Bali in infinitely safer and more secure than in 2002”, said Mr Taylor, “and that is good news for Australian tourists, but caution and vigilance should always be a priority when holidaying in any popular region”.