27 January 2016
The Paris-style 14 January 2016 assault by pro-IS militants in the heart of Jakarta is a game-changer. Indonesia’s leaders are closing ranks as the Jokowi government pursues a long-term response amid the growing IS threat in the region.
Sarinah at Thamrin, Indonesia’s oldest shopping plaza in Jakarta, is just next to a Starbucks café – a popular meeting place for yuppies, expatriates and others – that became the target of an audacious suicide bomb-and-gun assault by militants on 14 January 2016. Indonesian supporters of Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility, with 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 Jakarta’s population. Shocked Indonesians took to social media to show defiance with hastags such as #KamiTidakTakut” (WeAreNotAfraid). The same week, a local public opinion poll showed 95 percent of those interviewed nation-wide rejected IS and its methods.
… Yang Razali Kassim is Senior Fellow with the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 28/01/2016