Counter terrorism police arrested six suspects on 5 August believed to have been planning a rocket attack on Marina Bay in Singapore – a popular tourist destination - from nearby Bantam island in Indonesia. The group is suspected of having links to Bahrun Naim, a jihadist currently fighting with Islamic State (IS) in Syria who is widely credited with orchestrating the January attacks in Jakarta (see our 22 January Report). He is a founding member of Katibah Nusantara, an IS-linked South-East Asian faction made up primarily of Malay-speaking Indonesians and Malaysians, and is believed to have communicated with some of those arrested via social media.
In response, Singapore has stepped up border security but has played down fears saying it was aware of the plot and had been working with the Indonesian authorities prior to the arrests. However, the detentions highlight the growing threat to Indonesia and other parts of South-East Asia from IS-linked militants. Western interests, as well as the Government and security forces, are likely to remain priority targets.