Indonesian security officials stated on Thursday, August 27, that police arrested 17 suspected members of the al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group Jemaah Islamiah planning attacks on ethnic Chinese communities in the country. The group was reportedly planning to attack areas in Banten Province and Tasikmalaya City in West Java, both areas of long assimilated ethnic Chinese communities. Security sources stated that the group was planning to infiltrate local motorcycle gangs in the two areas and cause chaos with police as a diversion while other Jemaah Islamiah members would attack local Chinese shops and shop owners.
Similar security operations are possible in Indonesia over the near term.
Anti-communist sentiment in Indonesia has a long history of being taken out on the ethnic Chinese community. Some Jemaah Islamiah members believe communism is on the rise in the country. Jemaah Islamiah was the group behind the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people.
Those in Indonesia are advised to remain vigilant for militant and criminal behavior, report any suspicious behavior or items to police, and adhere to all instructions and advice issued by local authorities and their home governments.
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