Islamic State (IS) plans to expand its presence in Indonesia, threatening Australia, Attorney-General George Brandis has claimed.
Days after Indonesian police foiled a terror plot to bomb several targets by alleged IS-inspired militants, Mr Brandis said control of Indonesia had “no doubt” become the group’s ambition, The Australian reported.
IS has already declared caliphates in Afghanistan, Libya and some nations outside of Syria and northern Iran.
“ISIS has ambitions to elevate its presence and level of activity in Indonesia, either directly or through surrogates,” Mr Brandis told The Australian on Tuesday.
“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.”
The newspaper was told that Indonesia may become to Australia what Belgium was to France, with counter-terrorism authorities from another Western nation suggesting IS radicals could openly attack Australia, just how the Paris attackers carried out their shooting in Belgium.
The comments came after meetings between Australia and Indonesia, with a focus on a co-operated approach to taking-down terrorism.
While in Jakarta, Justice Minister Michael Keenan said the growth of IS had “destabilised the security of both countries”.
“The rise of ISIS in the Middle East is something that has destabilised the security of Australia, it’s destabilised the security of Indonesia and it’s destabilising the security of our friends and partners, particularly here in the region.”
– with AAP