Counter-terrorism police killed two suspected Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) members and seized multiple makeshift explosive devices during a raid in Tanjung Balai (North Sumatra province) on Thursday, October 18. Security officials indicate the suspects, who were killed during a shoot-out with police in the Teluk Nibung district, were planning complex attacks on Buddhist temples, police stations and other "vital" locations in the city. Although police secured the area, the city remains under a security alert.
Investigators believe JAD, an Islamic State (IS)-affiliated group, had planned to exploit rising ethnic tensions in Tanjung Balai. JAD claimed responsibility for the May 2018 bombings in Surabaya, which killed 15 civilians; the attacks were carried out by families, including children. The terrorist threat in Indonesia remains high and terrorist plots in the country are routinely disrupted. Experts estimate hundreds of IS-fighters have traveled to Indonesia from the Middle East in recent years, and JAD remains one of the most active IS-affiliated groups in Southeast Asia.
Individuals in Indonesia are advised to remain vigilant for militant activity and report any suspicious behavior or activity to the authorities.