US embassy in Indonesia issues security alert for interests in Surabaya

US embassy in Indonesia issues security alert for interests in Surabaya
# 04 January 2015 04:23 (UTC +04:00)

"The US Embassy has been made aware of a potential threat against US-associated hotels and banks in Surabaya, Indonesia," the embassy said in a statement published on its website on Saturday.

"The US Embassy recommends heightened vigilance and awareness of one's surroundings when visiting such facilities," it added, without providing any further details.

Indonesia has tried to dismantle extremist groups over the past decade following attacks against Western targets, including the 2002 Bali bombings.

However, in recent months authorities have raised concerns that a wave of potential ISIL sympathizers are emerging from the world's most populous Muslim nation.

So far, an estimated 514 Indonesians have gone to Syria and Iraq to fight alongside ISIL militants.

In late December, a couple along with their 10-year-old child were among six suspects arrested in Jakarta's Soekarno Hatta airport as they were trying to board the plane destined for Syria on fake passports.

Hundreds of extremists have left their countries from the four corners of the world, including from Europe and Asia, in the direction of Syria to join the fight against President Bashar al-Assad.

The ISIL terrorists control parts of Syria's northern territory. The group sent its militants into Iraq in June, quickly seizing swathes of land straddling the border between the two countries.

The US and some of its Arab allies -- Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates -- have been conducting airstrikes against ISIL inside Syria without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate.