Security and Concerns

AmCham’s OSAC committee met to discuss recent Surabaya bombings

By Christ Ponderosa
Thursday, July 5, 2018

In light of the May suicide bombings in Surabaya, AmCham Indonesia’s Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) held a productive meeting to exchange information and updates on how AmCham members can adjust their security protocols.

The meeting, held on May 16 at the American Club, featured keynote speaker Todd Elliott of Concord Consulting, US Embassy Regional Security Officer Brendan Murray, OSAC Chair Scott Hanna, and Co-Chair Chris McCann. FBI Special Agent Nathan Le, and US Embassy Political Section Counterterrorism Officer Amit Mathur also weighed in on the capabilities of the Indonesian government in counter-terrorism efforts.

During the meeting, the timeline and a summary of the Surabaya bombings were discussed. Other important information included trends identified in the recent incidents.

The use of women and children within family units in the recent attacks was a focus of discussion ad a new tactic in Indonesia. Although Indonesia has very good local threat awareness in general, this “family” trend further highlight the necessity for prevention efforts to be focused at the local level.

Police are also now being targeted as they are viewed as apostates fighting against the terrorists. While no known attacks have been carried out against the military yet, it may also be considered a target since it represents what is seen by the terrorists as an illegitimate government. Churches are also likely to be seen as Western targets.

The US Embassy revealed that Indonesia is considered a counter-terrorism success story compared to other countries globally, because it has a strong law enforcement approach to anti-terrorism. The audience was also assured that the US has a strong counter-terrorism partnership with Indonesia.

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