Pray for Jakarta – What Has Gone Down And What’s Coming Up?
It was a regular Thursday, everyone was busy doing what they intended to do, the traffic was normal and so was the and life in Jakarta was as calm as ever. But things did not stay the same and after a little while in the morning of 14th January, 2015 there were a series of bomb blasts which followed by gunfire at Sarinah Plaza intersection on Jalan Thamrin in the heart of Jakarta and numerous injuries and deaths have been recorded. The local authorities are in pursuit of the remainder of the suspects while it is in the news that there is a possibility of more similar incidents as well.
People are advised to prohibit from many non-essential travel within the city and avoid public places such as restaurants, malls, cinemas,parks and public places. The Chief of Police in Jakarta, Tito Karnavian has provided the media with a detailed analysis of the attack. He mentioned that the first explosion took place at sometime around 10:50 AM local time and gunfire was followed soon after. He added that the police gained control over the situation after half hour moreover, he confirmed that the suicide bomber blew himself up in one of the attacks.
The first explosion took place near Starbucks cafe and panic followed and after that to more attackers started to shoot the tourists in the area. During this time another group opened fire on police station at the Sarinah crossroads after another suicide bombing. After that the attackers continued the onslaught on downtown Jakarta with firearms and grenades and four police members were shot, Tito said. In the 15 minute gun fight two attackers were killed and the military was called in and they searched the building with no attackers to be found. They found five improvised grenades and on other bomb.
Tito confirmed that five attackers were killed while two more people including a local and a Canadian tourist were also killed moreover, five officer suffered shrapnel wounds or gunshots and he also added that all the attackers were locals belong to Central Java, West Java, Greater Jakarta and Sulawesi while the targets were tourists and police. The Chief of Police also said that all this is a part of ISIS’s against the west stating, “We had intelligence that there would be an attack by the ISIS group. But we didn’t know where and when.”
According to media writers Ben Doherty and Oliver Holmes the attacks were on the cards due as last year the counter-terrorism police of Indonesia acting off Australian Federal Police Intelligence along with Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) stated that they had foiled numerous bomb plots which were indicating at the attacks planned for the celebrations for Christmas and New Year. They added that many Jihad manuals and materials related to bomb-making were found and seized. They also said that they half arrested four other men which are believed to be members Jemaah Islamiyah, an affiliation of Al-Qaida. This group is blamed for the nightclub bombing of holiday island, Bali which killed 202 people back in the year 2000.
According to the the arrest documents the group was planning for an attack on New Year’s Eve with a suicide bombing in Jakarta. The national police chief, General Badrodin Haiti, at that time issued the warning. He said that it could be one massive attack or it could be a series but it all depends on their readiness and preparation. The authorities have deployed in access of 150,000 security officials to different public places throughout the country on that occasion but all the preparation was a bit too early.
As per Simon Tisdall of The Guardian, there is a connection between the chain of incidents that have taken place in the recent times in Turkey, France, Iraq and Cameroon. He also added that this is the and indication that now Islamic State is looking for an expansion of a global scale developing a reach to anywhere and this international campaign involves daily terror attacks around the globe. International Crisis Group analyst, Sidney Jones says that the attacks in Paris were praised by approximately 700 Indonesian ISIS fighters based in Syria. An ex-prisoner Bahrun Naim urged the wannabe jihadists in Indonesia to study and understand the planning, timing, targeting, coordination, courage ans security of the teams in Paris.