Australia and Indonesia have agreed to boost intelligence-sharing in the fight against terrorism, days after police arrested several men allegedly linked to a planned suicide bombing in Jakarta.

SYDNEY – Australia and Indonesia on Monday (Dec 21) agreed to boost intelligence-sharing in the fight against terrorism, days after police arrested several men allegedly linked to a planned suicide bombing in Jakarta.

During raids in several cities across Java island on Friday and Saturday, police detained five members of an alleged extremist network and seized chemicals, laboratory equipment and a flag inspired by the Islamic State group.

The operation was reportedly sparked by a tip-off from the Australian Federal Police and the FBI.

“The matters that were discussed related to cyber crime, intelligence sharing, technical cooperation, including combating terrorism financing, as well as enhanced cooperation in certain operational matters at an agency level,” Australian Attorney-General Senator George Brandis said in Jakarta on Monday.

The senator was in Jakarta along with Australian Justice Minister Michael Keenan for the inaugural Indonesia–Australia Ministerial Council on Law and Security meeting that involved senior officials at the ministerial level. Indonesia’s Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan and National Police chief General Badrodin Haiti also took part in the event.

The council addressed domestic matters of common concern between the two countries, said Brandis, adding that the discussions on Monday morning focused particularly on terrorism inspired by the Islamic State (IS) group.

Julie Bishop meets with Indonesia about defence and security

On Monday Foreign Minister Julie Bishop hosted talks with Indonesian-counterpart, Retno Marsudi about defence and security. The pair was joined by Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne and Indonesian Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu.

Ms Bishop said regional and global issues would be on the agenda for the discussions and said the relationship between Australia and Indonesia was in “very good shape”.

“We are firmly of the view that these challenges are best tackled when we work comprehensively, collaboratively and in a way that benefits the interests of both our nations,” Ms Bishop said.

The Foreign Minister also noted since August there had been about 15 ministerial visits between the two countries.

“It certainly is an incredible platform upon which we continue to build our bilateral relationship,” she said.

Australia recalled its Ambassador to Indonesia following the controversial execution of two of the Bali nine drug smugglers.

Australia and Indonesia determined to be good friends