Jakarta blast

Jakarta attacks: Indonesia ‘hunting terror cells’ linked to bombers

Jakarta’s chief of police has said Indonesia is hunting terror cells believed to be behind Thursday’s attack on the capital.

Two civilians and five attackers died in the gun and bomb assault in a busy commercial district.

Insp Gen Tito Karnavian said the attackers had been “neutralised” but were linked to groups across Indonesia and were “part of a global network”.

The Islamic State (IS) militant group has said it was behind the attack.

It released a statement online saying it had been carried out by “soldiers of the Caliphate”, targeting “citizens of the Crusader coalition” against the group.

Authorities have named Bahrum Naim, an Indonesian believed to be fighting with IS in Syria, as the suspected co-ordinator.
Image copyright AFP
Image caption The gun and bomb attack targeted a commercial district in the centre of the capital

Insp Gen Karnavian said Naim’s “vision” is to unite the various IS-supporting groups across South East Asia.

Indonesia – which has been attacked by Islamist militants several times – had been on high terror alert following recent threats issued by IS.

Security forces battled militants for hours on Thursday in a major business and shopping district of Jakarta.

The assault ended when two of the attackers were killed in a suicide bombing, said police, with the other three killed in gun battles.

A Canadian and an Indonesian national, both civilians, also died and at least 20 people were injured.

Insp Gen Karnavian told the BBC that main culprits had been “neutralised” but were “connected to other cells in Java and Sulawesi and we are chasing them”.

He said one IS plot had been foiled at the end of 2015 and a number of people detained, among them a man who said he had been instructed by Naim.

Naim has been linked to the IS-allied East Indonesia Mujahidin Group (MIT), which is based on the island of Sulawesi.

The police chief said Indonesia had significantly developed its understanding of domestic terror networks since the 2002 bomb attack in Bali, which killed 202 people.

Some 1,000 people linked to radical networks had been brought to justice in Indonesia since 2000, he said, but some had since been released from prison and had “the potential to pose a threat”.

“What we need to do today is strengthen capability and also sharing information with others because it is not home grown in Indonesia but it is part of a global network,” he said.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has condemned the attacks as “acts of terror”.

He tweeted on Friday that there was “no place for terrorism on Earth” and that “every citizen in the world” needed to fight it.
Islamist attacks in Indonesia

Indonesia has suffered militant attacks in the past, but has been relatively successful in curbing home-grown Islamist extremism after a spate of attacks in the last decade. Some of the deadliest include:

July 2009: Seven people killed and dozens wounded when two suicide bombers target Marriott and Ritz Carlton hotels in Jakarta
Oct 2005: Suicide attacks in Bali leave 23 dead, including the bombers
Sept 2004: Bomb outside Australian embassy in Jakarta kills at least nine people
Aug 2003: Bomb at Jakarta’s Marriott Hotel kills 12
Oct 2002: Bali bombings kill 202, including 88 Australians
Dec 2000: Church bombings across the country kill 19

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