ISIL Eying ‘Distant Caliphate’ in Indonesia: Australia Warns

ISIL Eying ‘Distant Caliphate’ in Indonesia: Australia Warns

Australia warned on Tuesday that the Takfiri group, ISIL (so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Levant) is working to boost its presence in Indonesia with dreams of creating a "distant caliphate" there.

Australia warned on Tuesday that the Takfiri group, ISIL (so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Levant) is working to boost its presence in Indonesia with dreams of creating a "distant caliphate" there.

Attorney-General George Brandis, who spent Monday in meetings between Indonesian and Australian ministers, police chiefs and security officials, said the Takfiri group constituted a threat to Australian and Western interests.

"ISIS has ambitions to elevate its presence and level of activity in Indonesia, either directly or through surrogates," he told The Australian newspaper, using another acronym for ISIL.

"You've heard the expression the 'distant caliphate'?

"ISIS has a declared intention to establish caliphates beyond the Middle East, provincial caliphates in effect. It has identified Indonesia as a location of its ambitions."

Brandis' comments follow Indonesian police foiling plans for a suicide attack in Jakarta and arresting radicals linked to ISIL.

Three-day raids across Java ending Sunday saw the confiscation of explosive materials and an ISIL-inspired flag as well as nine arrests.

The extremists were targeting shopping malls, police stations and minority groups across the country, Indonesia's national police chief said.

Security has been beefed up across the country, with senior ministers from Australia and Indonesia agreeing on Monday to boost intelligence sharing, including on terrorism financing, following bilateral talks in both Sydney and Jakarta.

The Australian newspaper said that while Australian authorities believed there was little chance ISIL could create a caliphate within Indonesia, they were deeply worried the terror group may establish a permanent foothold in the archipelago.


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