05/26/2017, 13.47
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The Islamic State claims responsibility for the East Jakarta attack

by Mathias Hariyadi

Wednesday’s was the group’s second attack in Indonesia. Indonesian police have been subjected to numerous Islamist attacks in recent years. The authorities are on high alert for more attacks. Three people are arrested on suspicion of having ties with the attackers.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – The Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack at the Kampung Melayu Transjakarta terminal in East Jakarta. Wednesday’s co-ordinated twin suicide bombings targeted police officers who were monitoring a traditional pre-Ramadan procession. Five people were killed, including three police officers, and 12 were wounded.

At first, the attack’s modus operandi led investigators to believe that the perpetrators belonged to Jamaah Anshar Daulah (JAD), which carried out an attack in Bandung on 27 February. No one died on that occasion, except for the attacker who was killed by police.

Martinus Sitompul, a spokesman for Indonesia’s national police, said that the same kind of explosive was used in Bandung as well as in East Jakarta. Media later reported a brief statement by Amaq, a news agency linked to IS, in which the group claimed responsibility for the attack against the Indonesian police.

Wednesday’s was IS’s second attack in Indonesia. In January 2016, the group carried out an operation near the Sarinah, a large department store in central Jakarta. Armed with bombs and guns, four assailants caused the death of four people before being killed.

In recent years, Indonesian police have been the subject of numerous attacks by Islamist terrorists. According to some analysts, IS-linked groups want to show off their capabilities despite effective anti-terrorism actions by law enforcement agencies.

Indonesian authorities have been on high alert, in anticipation of further attacks. Densus 88, an elite police unit that has played a leading role in tracking down and killing some of Indonesia's most wanted fighters, is now investigating the East Jakarta attack.

Meanwhile, West Java police spokesman Yusri Yunus announced the arrest of three people suspected of having links with the Kampung Melayu Transjargarta bombers. The three alleged accomplices, identified only as J, W and A, were arrested in three separate locations in West Java, and are currently being interrogated by Densus 88.

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