19 May 2011

Report warns of growing terrorist threat in Indonesia

3:58 pm on 19 May 2011

A new report warns of a growing terrorist threat in Indonesia.

The ABC reports the assessment is based on interviews by a former Australian Government intelligence analyst with 33 terrorists in Indonesian prisons.

Dr Carl Ungerer says a group of hardcore jihadis will be released from prison over the next 18 months and some of them say they will bomb Western targets.

He told the Lateline programme on ABC TV that one man told him that if ''he was released from prison today, he would bomb the United States embassy tomorrow''.

These men say they no longer need the backing of a large terror organisation like Jemaah Islamiah, which orchestrated the Bali bombing in 2002, killing 202 people.

Dr Ungerer said the prisoners are contributing to a surge in jihadi literature in Indonesia.

''Much of this publishing material is actually being done inside the prisons. There are people, convicted terrorists, who are writing, getting messages out from inside the prison system,'' he said.

Indonesia's counter-terrorism chief Tito Karnavian acknowledged the problem last year.

The ABC reports Australia helps train Indonesia's counter-terrorism unit, which has arrested about 600 people in the past decade.

The report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute will be issued on Thursday.