Indonesian President Widodo can suppress terror in the region, says Australian PM Malcolm Tanbull

Australia would like to tap Widodo to suppress the growing violent extremism in the region.

Indonesian president sails to South China Sea islands sending strong message to China
Indonesian President Joko Widodo gestures during an interview Reuters

Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Tanbull over the weekend said that Indonesia President Joko Widodo can play an important role in suppressing Islamist extremism in the region.

Indonesia is the world's largest Muslim-majority country but it exercises democracy to run its government.

The Australian Prime minister said that Widodo can speak with authority and has a powerful voice in the campaign of promoting moderation in the region.

Tanbull made this announcement as he prepares to attend the APEC Economic leaders in Manila next week.

The embattled prime minister would like to bring two major issues in the Manila meet. One is growing the violent terrorism in the Southern Philippines and the nuclear test missions of North Korea.

Australia was instrumental in ending the Philippine battle against ISIS-inspired terrorists in Marawi City. The Australian government sent P-2 Orion surveillance planes to spot the hideouts of the terrorist strongholds in Marawi.

Around 800 militants raided the Islamic City of Marawi and engaged in a five-month bloody battle against Philippine security forces. At least 800 terrorists were killed in the battle including the ISIS leader for Southeast Asia Isnilon Hapilon who has a USD 5 million bounty on his head.

Australia provided the Philippine government photos of terrorist hideouts that led the Philippine Army scout rangers to raid the nerve center of the militants.

Upon learning of the terrorist hideouts from the Australian government, the Philippine military launched artillery and airstrikes on the rebels' position that eventually ended the war under martial law.

Aside from Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore also offered their assistance to the Philippine government how to prevent the widespread of terrorism in Southeast Asia. The military earlier reported that the ISIS franchise in Southeast Asia is expected to revive with a new successor.

The military intelligence officials identified Amin Baco, a Malaysian national as the new emir of Southeast Asia.Baco is now being hunted by Philippine security forces.

This was also confirmed by Police Chief Ronald Bato who said that arrested terrorist Muhammad Ilham Syaputra, an Indonesia national, confessed to the police that Baco is now leading the ISIS-inspired militant group.

Baco was reported to leave Marawi City at the height of the battle but police intelligence officials said they are still trying to verify the information.