Poso residents are expressing concern that recent attacks, including an October 7th bombing in Dewua Village, may be signs of resurgent terrorism in the district.
A 30-minute gunfight followed the blast.
"There was an exchange of gunfire here in the morning between Central Sulawesi Police's Mobile Brigade (Brimob) alongside Poso Police, and unknown assailants," Poso resident Agus Muhammad Taufik told Khabar.
Poso, in Central Sulawesi Province, has long been known as a hotbed for terrorism, but recently, terrorist activities have increased in frequency, locals say.
Local cleric Achmad Fackry told Khabar Southeast Asia that terrorists operating in Poso engage in military training, recruitment of fighters and fa i (robbery to fund terrorism).
"We have seen various robberies, but recruitment is hard to trace because radicals now have various options. Most of them now are choosing social media ," he said. "As a Muslim leader, I encourage all clerics to pay special attention to every individual they work with."
The spike in terrorist activity is a sign that militants are getting desperate, according to police.
"They are obviously losing power," said Utoro Saputro, acting spokesman for Central Sulawesi Police. "The fact that a similar group conducted a motorcycle robbery – it shows their groups are now losing funding and trying to divert public attention by conducting this kind of attack."
Utoro added that officers recently arrested several Eastern Indonesia Mujahideen (MIT) members.
According to terrorism expert Al Chaidar, Poso's heightened state of alert is linked to a sinister development: Santoso's network is receiving international support .
"This is not only related to the bomb explosion that just happened, but also now it is obvious that Santoso's network has received international militant support," he told Khabar. "The region is now openly functioning for recruitment as well as looking for funding ."
Achmad Fackry believes clerics can prevent extremists from recruiting youths via social media by developing close relationships with their students.
"It is very important that clerics and santri (students) continue to explore Islam in a good way and avoid any radical thoughts," he said. "This is a critical time, in which ISIS's (The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria ) influence has been growing at the grassroots level.
"So clerics must be willing to partner with the community and the government to closely watch any suspicious actions," he said. "The safety of our country is in our hands."
Aditya Surya in Jakarta contributed to this report.