Osama's death raises Indonesia terror risk?

Tom Allard writes in the Fairfax papers on Tuesday that Indonesia is preparing for a post-Osama attack on Western interests:

INDONESIA is bracing for retaliatory terrorist acts targeting Westerners as it emerged that the country's most wanted militant, Umar Patek, was arrested earlier this year in the same Pakistani town where Osama bin Laden met his end.

The country's anti-terrorism chief told The Age that he "definitely" expects an attack.

"Every terror action [from the perspective of violent Islamists] will be replied by another attack," said Ansyaad Mbai, the head of Indonesia's National Anti-Terrorism Agency.


It's a sensible analysis, trading on the notion that bin Laden was of significant symbolic rather than practical value to the jihadist cause, a view I suspect is close to the mark. The abundance of willing foot soldiers in Indonesia and a renewed sense of injustice is the right formula for further violence.

It's pleasing that Osama is no longer a threat - although frankly, a court hearing and a life behind bars is preferable to what occurred - but we need to be realistic about what might follow.

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