Authorities in Southeast Asia have stayed vigilant since a bomb and gun attack in Jakarta in January that showed the IS’s presence in the region for the first time.
A. Syamsu from Indonesia’s counterterrorism agency stated that some Indonesian IS supporters are training in the Philippines. The exact number has yet to be identified, but it could be dozens, he added.
Regional authorities prevented IS sympathisers from reaching Syria last year.
In a recent report, Sidney Jones, an expert on terrorism, said that radical networks of Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines are enhancing cooperation, thus raising the possibility of cross border violence.
According to Jones, as getting to Syria becomes increasingly difficult for Southeast Asian fighters, Mindanao in the southern Philippines may be the next best option.