Kiwis travelling Asia warned of IS

Kiwis travelling Asia warned of IS

A terrorism expert is warning the Islamic State terrorist group (IS) is likely to mount more attacks in Asia, even though the group's mass attack in central Jakarta largely failed.

Professor Greg Barton from Deakin University in Melbourne says Kiwis travelling in the region need to stay alert.

The city is now bouncing back, with Jakarta United football fans at the attack site noisily sounding their defiance by singing the national anthem.

New amateur video has emerged of the explosions and prolonged gunfire.

Terrorism expert Prof Barton says to expect more attacks.

"But we're now facing a difficult period because of the global outreach of ISIS."

Police say one gunman is called Afif Sunakim. He was arrested in 2010 at a terrorist training camp.

"New Zealanders, like Australians, are most at risk when they're travelling. We're in a lucky part of the world; attacks here are very unlikely," says Mr Barton.

While the terrorists are hitting soft targets like coffee shops, shopping malls and concert halls, Mr Barton says it needs to be put in context.

"In terms of all the risk we face travelling, riding on a motorbike without a helmet, drinking cheap cocktails – they're more dangerous things. If you have a gut feeling something's not safe, listen to your gut feeling," says Mr Burton.

In Jakarta, the attacks were foiled because someone in Starbucks raised the alarm.

Five terrorists died after blowing themselves up or being shot; another five have been arrested.  Two civilians also died.

"Thursday in Jakarta was complete failure for ISIS, but we've got to be careful about being too smug on this. Terrorism works on the principle you only have to get it right once," says Mr Burton.

The police chief in Jakarta has experience hunting jihadis. He said the mastermind of the attacks is an Indonesian IS jihadi now fighting in Syria.

They're also hunting Santoso, an Islamist leader who's linked to the Jakarta attack.  He's Indonesia's most wanted man.

But perhaps Indonesia's biggest weapon is that its people embrace a more liberal form of Islam, and very few are joining the jihadists.

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