Thursday, January 14, 2016

Jakarta Shocked By Islamic State’s Suicide Attacks

(News articles from the ABC NEWS and the DAILY MAIL UK  on 14 January 2016.)

One ISIS terrorist shooting at people.
Islamic State (IS) militants have claimed a gun and bomb assault on Indonesia's capital, police say, marking the first assault on the Muslim-majority country by the radical group. Several blasts struck central Jakarta shortly before 3:00pm AEDT Thursday.

Bombs were thrown at a popular Starbucks cafe, then a suicide bombing at a police checkpoint. Blasts struck outside the Sarinah shopping centre and the UN's country office. Islamic State has claimed the attack. Five of the seven people killed were the attackers themselves.

It took security forces about three hours to end the siege near a Starbucks cafe and Sarinah's, Jakarta's oldest department store, after a team of about seven militants traded gunfire with police and blew themselves up.

"A group of soldiers of the caliphate in Indonesia targeted a gathering from the crusader alliance that fights the Islamic State in Jakarta through planting several explosive devices that went off as four of the soldiers attacked with light weapons and explosive belts," the group said in a statement.

The IS statement said there were 15 people killed, but the official tally according to the Indonesian Government remains at seven. An Indonesian police officer and a Canadian man were two other people killed in the attack. Twenty people, including a Dutch man, were wounded.

People were fleeing from him.
Authorities said the policeman was killed in a suicide attack on a police booth on the median strip of one of Jakarta's busiest roads, before shots were fired at bystanders. Deputy National Police Chief Budi Gunawan said two attackers were killed in a shootout with police, while two others were suicide bombers. Two of the militants were taken alive, police said.

Jakarta's Police Chief Tito Karnavian confirmed the deadly blasts were linked to IS. The Police Chief named an Indonesian militant called Bahrun Naim as the man responsible for plotting them. He has been known to police since 2010 and is believed to be vying to become the leader of Islamic State in South-East Asia. Police believe Naim is in the Syrian city of Raqqa.

At least six explosions rocked the area, including one at a Starbucks cafe in the city centre, near a cluster of embassies and the United Nations offices. There was also a gunfight between attackers and police in a movie theatre that was in the same building as a Starbucks cafe, a police spokesman said.

Jakarta police said the situation was now under control but in a sign of public unease, a bang caused by a tyre bursting triggered a bomb scare that sent police cars rushing back to the scene hours after the attack.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo said the blasts were "acts of terror". "Our nation and our people should not be afraid, we will not be defeated by these acts of terror, I hope the public stay calm," he told MetroTV. "We all are grieving for the fallen victims of this incident, but we also condemn the act that has disturbed the security and peace and spread terror among our people."

Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said no Australians had been caught up in the attacks. She condemned them and said she had spoken to her Indonesian counterpart and offered any support the country may need.

Minutes later the terrorist was killed by the police.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull tweeted his condolences: "Australians' thoughts, prayers and resolute solidarity are with the people of Indonesia as they respond to the terrorist attacks." US Secretary of State John Kerry added: "There is nothing in any act of terror that offers anything but death and destruction. And so we stand together, all of us, united in our efforts to eliminate those who choose terror."

Harits Abu Ulya, a expert on militancy who knows Naim, said he expected more attacks. "This is an indication that he has been learning from the Paris attacks and he has studied the strategy," he said. "I still have doubts about the capability of the local militants to carry out attacks on a bigger scale. But it is a possibility."

Indonesia has seen attacks by Islamist militants before, but a coordinated assault by a team of suicide bombers and gunmen is unprecedented and has echoes of the sieges seen in Mumbai seven years ago and in Paris last November.

The last major militant attacks in Jakarta were in July 2009, with bombs at the JW Marriott and Ritz Carlton hotels. The country had been on edge for weeks over the threat posed by Islamist militants. Counter-terrorism police had rounded up about 20 people with suspected links to IS, whose battle lines in Syria and Iraq have included nationals from several Asian countries.

The Terrorist Toolkit

ISIS fanatic's chilling arsenal of bombs, guns, ammunition and a knife is revealed after wave of suicide attacks on Jakarta leaves seven dead. Death squad of seven militants launched series of co-ordinated suicide bomb and gun attacks in Indonesian capital.

Explosions rocked downtown streets near the presidential palace and U.S. Embassy in five-hour running gunbattle. Five attackers and two civilians – a police officer and Canadian man – were killed while two jihadis were taken alive.

This is the 'terrorist toolkit' carried by an ISIS death squad who launched a series of suicide bomb and gun attacks that left seven dead in Jakarta. Police found the terrifying arsenal of bombs, guns, ammunition and knives in a jihadist's rucksack after a three-hour gunbattle in the Indonesian capital.

One of the fanatics had earlier been seen training his handgun on potential victims while stalking the streets as terrified onlookers ran for their lives. The last stand played out near a Starbucks in a bustling shopping area after the team of seven militants traded fire with police and blew themselves up.

A shocking footage shows one of the suicide bombers erupting into a ball of fire after detonating his explosives outside the American coffee chain. Another bomber exploded inside the cafe, wounding several inside. As people poured out, waiting gunmen opened fire on them, killing a Canadian man. At the same time, two militants attacked a police traffic post nearby, using what witnesses described as homemade hand grenades, killing themselves and an Indonesian man.

Five attackers and two civilians were killed in the attack, while two of the militants were taken alive, police said. Twenty people, including a Dutch man, were wounded. Police finally declared the area near the Sarinah shopping mall secure five hours after the major downtown street – not far from the presidential palace and the U.S. Embassy – had turned into a battleground. 

Islamic State officially claimed responsibility for the attacks. In a statement posted online, it said: 'A group of soldiers of the caliphate in Indonesia targeted a gathering from the crusader alliance that fights the Islamic State in Jakarta through planting several explosive devices that went off as four of the soldiers attacked with light weapons and explosive belts.'

Jakarta's police chief earlier told reporters: 'ISIS is behind this attack definitely' and named an Indonesian militant called Bahrun Naim as the man responsible for plotting it. Police believe Naim is in the Syrian city of Raqqa.

Aamaaq news agency, which is allied to the terror group, said on its Telegram channel: 'Islamic State fighters carried out an armed attack this morning targeting foreign nationals and the security forces charged with protecting them in the Indonesian capital.'

Police earlier said the attackers were linked to a terror cell that was foiled in the Indonesian city of Surakarta last December and the people behind the blasts were reportedly in communication with people in Syria.

The drama played out on the streets and on television screens this morning, with at least six explosions and a gunfight in a movie theatre.  'The Starbucks cafe windows are blown out. I see three dead people on the road. There has been a lull in the shooting but someone is on the roof of the building and police are aiming their guns at him,' Reuters photographer Darren Whiteside said as the attack unfolded.

A City Gripped By Terror: How The ISIS Attack Unfolded

The attack started at around 10.50am (4.50am) when a suicide bomber walked into a Starbucks and set off his explosives. He was the only person killed in the blast.  The cafe is close to UN offices and a shopping centre on Thamrin Street, a major thoroughfare home to many luxury hotels, high-rise office buildings and embassies.

As customers ran out, two gunmen outside opened fire, killing a Canadian man and wounding an Indonesian.  A witness, Guruh Purwanto, said the gunmen then ran into a nearby theatre. At about the same time, two other suicide bombers attacked a traffic police booth nearby, killing themselves and an Indonesian man.

Minutes later, the two gunmen attacked a group of policemen, sparking a gunbattle that ended with both attackers dead after they blew themselves up. Police responded in force within minutes. Black armoured cars screeched to a halt in front of the Starbucks and sniper teams were deployed around the neighbourhood as helicopters buzzed overhead.

Jakarta police chief Tito Karnavian said one man entered the Starbucks cafe and blew himself up, wounding several inside. As people poured out of the cafe, two waiting gunmen opened fire on them.  At the same time, two militants attacked a police traffic post nearby, using what he described as hand grenade-like bombs.

Shocking footage shows two militants crouching down near a vehicle in a parking area before they are engulfed in flames from an explosion. Separate video taken from a high-rise building nearby shows the scale of the blast – and captures the moment a second bomb is detonated in exactly the same place seconds later.

After the militants had been overcome, a body still lay on the street, a shoe nearby among the debris. The city centre's notoriously jammed roads were largely deserted.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo ordered security forces to hunt down the perpetrators and their network behind the attacks. 'I have received reports some time ago about the explosion in Thamrin street, Jakarta,' Mr Widodo said.

'We express condolences for those who became victims, but we all also condemn the attack that caused restlessness among the community.'  Highlighting the fear gripping the city, panic struck again just hours later when explosions were reported near the scene of the siege.

But police later said it was believed to be a tyre bursting and not another bomb. 'There was the sound of an explosion, suspected to be from a truck tyre. But we don't want to underestimate anything. We want to keep things secure,' police spokesman Mohammad Iqbal told reporters.

Indonesian Police shot dead four suspected militants who were part of the attack, it had earlier been reported. 'We are sterilising the building from basement to top,' Jakarta police spokesman Iqbal Kabid told reporters, explaining that a gunbattle between the attackers and police took place in a cinema that is in the same building as a Starbucks cafe that was attacked. 'We will declare the situation secure soon.'

Moments before the President's comments, local news outlets reported at least three more attacks may have taken place across Jakarta. Indonesian network TVOne reported there have also been blasts in Cikni, Silpi and Kuningan neighborhoods, near the Turkish and Pakistani embassies.

A witness told of seeing a Western man staggering from a Starbucks coffee shop - one of several buildings targeted by at least 14 terrorists - with what was described as 'a mangled hand'.  'But he was alive,' said 32-year-old Ruli Koestamam, according to reports.

Mr Koestamam, who had been in a meeting in a nearby building, said that after the Western man emerged from the coffee shop with his badly injured hand a Starbucks waiter ran out with blood coming from his ear. 'I asked if anyone was hurt inside and he said "Yes, one. Dead already".'

'There's debris everywhere': Witness describes scene in Jakarta. An Australian journalist with Indonesia's Jakarta Globe told Daily Mail Australia it was 'really scary' as news of the attacks began to emerge, and reports suggested further blast and shootings were spreading to other parts of the city.

'It was at first really scary, with a lot of misinformation spread by some local media outlets about other suburbs under attack,' Ms Cook said. 'But as it's calmed down and more information has emerged it feels a much sadder mood. It seems like everyone is worried that Jakarta will return to how it was in the early 2000s.'

A Long History Of Violent Terrorism In Indonesia

Terrorist bomb attacks on westerners by Islamic extremists in Indonesia is old news in the world's largest Muslim country and the island nation has always been a sitting duck for ISIS infiltration. Last December, Australia's Attorney General George Brandis warned that Islamic State was seeking to establish a 'distant caliphate' in Indonesia 'either directly or through surrogates'.

This has long been the aim of the militant terrorist group, Jemaah Islamiyah, which perpetrated Australia's greatest terrorist attack in history, the 2002 Bali bombings which killed 202. Mr Brandis may also have been referring to one of Syria's ISIS recruits from Indonesia, prison inmate turned jihadi scholar Bahrun Naim. In a blog from Syria last year, Naim praised last year's Paris attacks and urged fellow Indonesians to examine the planning, organisation and the 'courage' of the Paris terrorists.

Last December Australia and Indonesia held high level security talks just in Jakarta, just as Javanese police had arrested nine suspects ahead of a planned suicide attack on the capital. The arrested men were all former members of Jemaah Islamiyah, also known as JI and the attack was 'ISIS-related'. Mr Brandis said that ISIS had 'identified Indonesia as a location of its ambitions' and the location of its desired 'distant caliphate'.

The arrival of ISIS in Indonesia would be the dream come true for JI's long held aim to establish a 'Daulah Islamiyah' or regional Islamic caliphate in Southeast Asia, and Australia's worst nightmare – bringing Islamic State right to Australia’s doorstep.

Indonesia has been on edge over recent weeks about the danger of Islamist militants and counter-terrorism police have launched a crackdown on people with suspected links to Islamic State. 
(Blogger's Notes: On the morning of September 7, 2009, the life of notorious Malaysian Islamist-terrorist Noordin Mohammad Top came to a bloody and violent end at the hands of Indonesia's anti-terrorist police sqaud, Densus-88 or Detachment-88. 

A leader of the Indonesian Islamist-terrorist organization Jemaah Isalmiah, Noordin was implicated in a number of major terrorist attacks in Indonesia, including the July-17 2009 suicide bombings at the Marriott and Ritz-carlton hotels in Jakarta. Following the shoot-out in which Noordin was killed, his corpse was sent to Jakarta in order to verify his identification. 

Nearly two weeks after his death, Indonesian police spokesman Nana Sukarna announced that, during the autopsy, the examiner found that Noordin had an infundibuliform or "funnel-shaped anus", and asserted that he therefore engaged in passive sodomy -- i.e. he was regularly fucked in his arse. This information was verified by Mun'im Idris, a forensics expert from the University of Indonesia.

Australian and Indonesian Intelligence agencies strongly believe that Noordin Mohammad Top the poofter-terrosist was also responsible for 2002-October Bali-bombing which killed more than 200 including 88 Australians, 27 Britons, and 7 Americans.