Going to Indonesia? Read this
AUSTRALIANS are being warned there is a heightened risk of more terror attacks in Indonesia - and potentially on home soil - after more than a dozen people died in two suicide bomb strikes in Surabaya.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is warning Australians of the increased risk via its official Smart Traveller website after a second attack occurred in the Indonesian city of Surabaya on Monday.
While the official advice for travellers to exercise a high degree of caution in Indonesia has not changed, DFAT took to social media last night to warn Australians via the Smart Traveller Twitter alert that there was "a heightened risk of further attacks".
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has also acknowledged the terror attacks in Indonesia could potentially increase the risk of an attack on Australian soil, while Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop has warned the use of children.
Mr Turnbull this morning described the extremists who killed more than a dozen people in two strikes in Surabaya on Sunday and Monday - including their own children, who took part in the attacks - as "brutal, inhumane, blasphemous and sickeningly cruel".
"It's a reminder that these terrorists have got nothing to do with God. They are not defending Islam as President Widodo of Indonesia says they are blaspheming it and defaming it," he told Melbourne radio 3AW today.
Asked whether the attacks increased the threat to Australians on home soil, Mr Turnbull said: "Yes, potentially."
The Prime Minister also highlighted that Islamic State fighters from Australia and Indonesia returning to the region posed a "real challenge", although he acknowledged reports the bomber behind strikes on three churches on Sunday had not been to Syria.
He also confirmed about 40 ISIS fighters had returned to Australia and were currently out on the streets.
"We keep a very close eye on these things," he said.
Mr Turnbull said some families had also returned from the conflict zone but would not provide the exact number.
'HIGHER RISK DURING RAMADAN'
Ms Bishop also warned there was a heightened risk of terror attacks in Indonesia during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which begins today and ends on June 14.
"These horrific attacks over the weekend are a very grim reminder that terrorist attacks can occur in Indonesia and that's why we're working so very closely with the Indonesian Government and with other partner governments in Southeast Asia to stop this scourge of terrorism," Ms Bishop told Channel 7's Sunrise program today.
"What was particularly horrific about the attacks over the weekend was the use of children in the terrorist's organisation. We'd not seen that in Indonesian attacks before and this takes it to a whole new horrifying level."
Ms Bishop's warning comes after intelligence officials expressed alarm about the extremists' new tactics in South East Asia in a briefing to Mr Turnbull and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton on Sunday.
The Australian reports the Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister sought urgent briefings about the increased threat level in Indonesia after the first incident, suicide attacks at three churches across Surabaya on Sunday that were carried out by a family of six, including four children.
Hours after the Prime Minister received the briefing, a second attack was launched on Monday against police headquarters in Surabaya by a second family, which also involved children.
A total of 25 people were killed in the attacks, including 13 alleged terrorists.
A third family was killed in an accidental explosion in an apartment in Sidoarjo, near the city of Surabaya, on Sunday evening.
It's believed they were making bombs for another attack.
The mother, father and one child were killed and another two children were taken to hospital.
An intelligence source has told The Australian the use of children as suicide bombers was raised in the security briefing to the Prime Minister.
"The use of children is a new low … it is very hard to identify," a senior Australian intelligence source told the publication.
"It is a change in their methods … it shows a level of desperation."
Amid the terror threat concerns, Prime Minister Turnbull will today announce new airport security measures to close a loophole that currently prevents authorities from pursuing criminals and terrorists before they fly.
Police will have new powers to demand IDs and order people to leave airports under the new measures, The Daily Telegraph reports.
Mr Turnbull this morning confirmed the security upgrades would include more body scanners and powers for police to conduct random ID checks.
He said the new measures were necessary in "dangerous times," referencing the extremist plot to blow up a plane leaving Sydney with almost 400 people on board last July that was thwarted by chance.
The Smart Traveller website recommends Australians exercise a high degree of caution when travelling to Indonesia, including Bali.
It also recommends travellers reconsider their need to travel to the provinces of Central Sulawesi, Papua and West Papua due to the high level of risk.
The site has also included information about the attacks over the past two days.