27 January 2016
Sarinah at Thamrin, Indonesia’s oldest shopping plaza in Jakarta, is just next to a Starbucks cafe — a popular meeting place for yuppies, expatriates and others — which became the target of an audacious suicide bomb-and-gun assault by militants on Jan 14. Indonesian supporters of the Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility, with the police linking them to an emergent loose alliance of nine cells called the Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD).
Immediate public reaction, however, showed that the brazen attacks only succeeded to alienate IS from Jakarta’s population. Shocked Indonesians took to social media to show defiance with hashtags such as #KamiTidakTakut” (WeAreNotAfraid). The same week, a local public opinion poll showed that 95 per cent of those interviewed nationwide rejected IS and its methods.
Unprecedented in scope and tactics, the attacks took terrorist violence in Indonesia to a new level. Before this, the modus operandi was largely by suicide bombings: The 2002 Bali bomb blasts, the 2004 car bomb outside the Australian Embassy, the 2005 triple bombs in Bali and the 2009 twin bomb attacks at JW Marriott and Ritz Carlton hotels.
… Yang Razali Kassim is Senior Fellow with the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. This first appeared in RSIS Commentary.
RSIS / Online / Print
Last updated on 27/01/2016