Security alert as Indonesians heed Islamic State’s jihad call

Islamic State appears to be edging closer to our doorstep with the emergence of new cells mushrooming in Indonesia, seemingly without intervention.

Terrorism specialist Rohan Gunaratna, who heads the Singapore-based International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, warns of emerging terror units and individual jihadists who have pledged allegiance to the self-proclaimed caliph of Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Bagh­dadi, or support to the group.

Members of rival al-Qa’ida affiliated Jemaah Islamiah and Jabhat al-Nusra, also known as al-Nusra Front, have defected to Islamic State in droves, with profound implications for security in the region, particularly Australia, which is part of the US-led coalition fighting to defeat Islamic State in the Middle East.