Sylvia Laksmi's picture

Sylvia Laksmi


Contact details

Sylvia Laksmi, an Indonesian national, is a renown subject matter expert in the field of International Relations and Terrorism Studies-International Security. She has worked as a Senior Advisor/Researcher in the Indonesian Government since 2007 in the specialised areas of financial crimes intelligence investigations. Therefore, she has a breadth of experience in the expertise of Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Financing of Terrorism (CFT) studies.

Sylvia is currently a Ph.D. Candidate at the Strategic & Defence Studies Centre (SDSC), The Australian National University. Her other notable portfolios include the followings: 1) Teaching Fellow of Military and Defence Studies Program for Australian War College at the Australian National University 2) Adjunct Lecturer at Charles Sturt University, Canberra 3) Research Fellow at International and Strategic Studies at the University of Malaya 4) Visiting Scholar at ICPVTR, RSIS-NTU, Singapore 5) Senior Researcher at Centre for Terrorism and Radicalism Studies (CTRS) – Indonesian Police Science College

Her works at SDSC include analysis on Indonesian CFT policies and the impact they have on terrorist operations in Southeast Asia and Asia-Pacific, including how technologies are used to enhance the various aspects of the application. Her efforts provided authorities with comprehensive maps (on terrorist financing issues) and strategies against acts of terrorism-criminal financing; especially in the social network arenas.

Apart from her research works, Sylvia is also an established trainer who had provided training to government officers and private sector specialists domestically as well as at the international level. Profoundly in 2016, she was called upon to be a member of the National and Regional Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Team to develop Risk Assessment Projects and a training syllabus.

Given her considerable depth and credibility, Sylvia has been called upon to assist the Philippines government in a project for Peace Youth Communities to generate counter-narratives against IS-inspired groups and the Communist Party.

PhD programme

Strategic & Defence Studies Centre (SDSC)

Topic title

The analysis of government capabilities in countering the social network-based terrorist financing

Topic description

Sylvia’s thesis work at SDSC is on the analysis of Indonesian Government’s capabilities in countering the social network-based terrorist financing. Her focus is on the social network analysis on illicit financial flow of terrorist groups’ networks in Indonesia and Southeast Asia-Pacific, including financial technology innovations which influence the development of terrorist financing.

Sylvia’s PhD research is aiming to provide a comprehensive map of terrorist financing issues in Indonesia through social network analysis and a study of government’s capabilities in addressing the issues. Findings could ultimately contribute to improving Indonesian Government’s strategy in countering social network-based terrorist financing.


Mothers and the Internet: Indonesian Youths Caught in Between, April 19th 2021, STRATSEA (Link:

Countering Terrorist Financing: Strengthening Indonesia-Australia Collaboration, ASPI Counterterrorism Yearbook 2021, March 2021(Link:

A More Effective Counterterrorism Strategy for Indonesian Women by Acknowledging Their Motivations and Tactical Contributions, December 14th 2020, STRATSEA (Link:

Handling returning terrorist fighters is a big problem, monitoring their funds is another, March 09th 2020, The Conversation (Link:

Podcast interview on Terrorist Financing by Kacamata Kita Podcast, February 3rd 2020, (Link:

Nexus between Charities and Terrorist Financing in Indonesia, published in Counter Terrorist Trends and Analysis Journal Volume 11, Issue 7, September 2019, Singapore: RSIS-Nanyang Technological University. (Link:

How do terrorists fund their activities? Some do it legally, July 12th 2019, The Conversation (Link:

Online Media and Terror: Lessons from the CPP-NPA Virtual Operations, February 13th 2019, No to Violence Philippines Media (Link:

Involving family in the ‘theatre of martyrdom’: A conceivable imminent trend, February 05th 2019, No to Violence Philippines Media (Link:

Raising ‘community cohesion’ awareness to Filipino millennials, Peace Advocay, January 27th 2019, No to Violence Philippines Media (Link:½7/raising-community-cohesion-awareness-to...)

Perempuan dan Pendanaan Terorisme: Menelusuri Motif di Balik Isu Radikalisme (Women and Terrorist Financing: Analysing the Motivation Behinded the Issue of Radicalisme), IFII Magazine, Vol. 01., September 2018, Indonesian FIU. (Link:

Terrorism Financing and the Risk of Internet-Based Payment Services in Indonesia, published in Counter Terrorist Trends and Analysis Journal Volume 9, Issue 2, February 2017, Singapore: RSIS-Nanyang Technological University. (Link:

Regional Terrorism Financing Risk Assessment Framework: Southeast Asia and Australia, published in Counter Terrorist Trends and Analysis Journal Volume 8, Issue 10, October 2016, Singapore: RSIS-Nanyang Technological University. (Link:

Abusing virtual world to finance terrorism, published in the Jakarta Post, July 15th, 2016. (Link:

The Government Response to Trade-Based Money Laundering: Enhancing Multilateral Intelligence Cooperation Framework, published in UBAYA International Journal. (Link:

Countering Terrorism’s Center of Gravity: Money or Ideology? published in the Jakarta Post, October 30th 2015. (Link:

Rethinking the Anti-Terrorism Strategy of Indonesia, published in the Jakarta Post, June 19th 2015. (Link:

Money Laundering: Child Sex Exploitation Case, published in Indonesian Printed Newspapers Republika, May 30th, 2015.

MSc. Thesis: Dinamika pendanaan organisasi teror: Analisis perubahan pola pendanaan terorisme di Indonesia (The Dynamics of terrorist organisation’s funding: An analysis of changes in terrorist financing’s pattern in Indonesia), UI 2012, pp156.

BSc. Thesis: Peran pemerintah Amerika Serikat dalam upaya penanggulangan Abu Sayyaf Group di Filipina Selatan (The role of United States Government in countering Abu Sayyaf Group in southern Philippines), UNPAD 2007.

Scholarships and fellowships

Research Grant (2020) by the Australian Army Research Center for a project: Seeking Security: Southeast Asian Threat Perceptions and Australia’s Strategic Interests in the 2020s

Australia Awards Indonesia Scholarship 2017

Mailing address

Strategic & Defence Studies Centre (SDSC) Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs ANU College of Asia & the Pacific Acton ACT 2601 Australia

Updated:  27 May 2022/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team