Fears of new attacks rise as Islamic terrorism targets Jakarta
by Mathias Hariyadi
Two failed attacks in the capital raise the alarm level. Government buildings and police stations are the new targets of Islamists' 'holy war'. In Russia, President Yudhoyono calls for the area to be "sterilised". Three die in a gunfight between police and young extremists.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - The recent spate of failed attacks in Jakarta indicates that the capital has become a target for Islamic terrorism. After a wave of violent attacks against foreigners, including Bali in 2002, now jihadists are bringing their 'holy war' to law enforcement and the government.  For exports of local politics, the latter stand in the way of the establishment of an 'Islamic' state in Southeast Asia. A terrorist suspect, Muhammad Toriq, handed himself into custody after apparently planning an attack against government buildings in the Indonesian capital, including police assets.

In the last four days, two attacks failed in West Jakarta and Depok, 20 km from South Jakarta, after bombs went off prematurely critically injuring the suspected would-be attackers. At present, police are investigating the incidents but there is no precise overall picture of the situation.

Although Indonesian authorities have not made any official statement, it would appear that attacks were planned against sensitive targets in the capital, including government buildings and police stations.

Speaking from the APEC summit in Vladivostok, Russia, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said that "the area must be quickly sterilised of possible harmful acts by terrorists."

Last Thursday, police found home-made bomb making material and explosive at a West Jakarta home that had caught fire. The man who lived at the place fled refusing help from neighbours before police could arrive.

On Saturday, a bomb exploded at a rented home in Depok, gravely injuring a man. Other people who were at the location at the time of the blast were able to escape. It is believed they were preparing explosive devices.

In order to stop further attacks, the authorities have boosted security measures in the capital. However, Jakarta is not the only target for extremist groups.

Special government units have already been involved in gunfights with extremists in Solo, Central Java. In one incident, a police agent and two young terrorists were killed.