The potential for mayhem seems obvious. Indonesia’s open society and high social media penetration make it easy for young Indonesians to access Islamist sites and Facebook pages, and the Sunni Muslim insurgency has released several videos in Indonesian in an apparent recruiting effort.
Indonesia is a country of thousands of islands, with porous borders and many soft targets: the militants launched bombs and opened fire in broad daylight in one of the busiest neighbourhoods in Jakarta.
And Indonesians have fought in Syria and Iraq and returned. The Soufan Group, a consulting security consulting group, believes that at least 600 Southeast Asians have travelled to Syria to fight with Isis and then come back to their home countries.
Indeed, the alleged ringleader of last week’s Jakarta attacks, a militant named Bahru Naim, is currently living in Raqqa, Isis’s hub.
In reality, however, Indonesia has enjoyed far more success than most nations against Islamist militants, including those linked to the Isis.
The country has witnessed numerous militant attacks over the past 15 years. Unlike some of its neighbours, however, Indonesia has not experienced increased public support for Isis and the government has not resorted to draconian measures to crush militant cells.
Indonesia’s political leaders, security forces, and religious leaders offer varied lessons for combating the appeal of Isis.