News / Asia

    Islamic State Claims Deadly Jakarta Attack

    IS Claims Its First Attack on Indonesiai
    X
    January 15, 2016 1:17 AM
    Seven people are dead: a Canadian national, an Indonesian civilian and five attackers — some of whom blew themselves up — in what is the first terrorist attack in Indonesia by the Islamic State group. More than 20 other people, including some foreigners, were wounded. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the scene in Jakarta.

    Islamic State has claimed responsibility for Thursday's coordinated bomb and gun attack in the Indonesian capital that left seven people dead, including all five attackers.

    The Islamic State-linked Aamaq News Agency says the attack in an upscale neighborhood in central Jakarta "targeted foreign nationals and security forces charged with protecting them." Foreigners were among 20 people who were wounded.

    Earlier, Indonesian national police spokesman Anton Charliyan said an IS-affiliated group was probably behind the assault, and the attackers were likely trying to imitate the November Paris terror attacks.

    The Jakarta police chief went further, naming an Indonesian in Syria as responsible. “All leaders of Islamic State in Southeast Asia are competing to be the regional chief," Tito Karnavian told reporters. "That’s why [Indonesian IS fighter] Bahrun Naim plotted this attack."

    Watch video of the blast and aftermath:

    Jakarta Blast Videoi
    X
    January 14, 2016 1:41 PM
    Jakarta Blast Video

    The violence began with a series of explosions mid-morning in an area near a shopping center, luxury hotels, embassies and other office buildings. The first two occurred in the outdoor smoking area and a parking lot of a Starbucks.  A third explosion rocked a small police station.   

    The militants engaged in intense gun battles with police throughout the day. By late afternoon, authorities declared the attack over, saying all five militants were killed. A Canadian national and an Indonesian citizen were also killed, police said.

    Jakarta, Indonesia.
    Jakarta, Indonesia.

    Busy spot

    "This is a very popular shopping area with restaurants and office buildings. About 50 meters from there is the United Nations office. The U.S. Embassy is almost around 400 or 500 meters from there, not far from the presidential palace, actually. So this is a really centrally located place," said VOA Indonesian Service reporter Frans Demon.

    While clearing Tamarin Avenue where the attacks occurred, police say they found one large and five small unexploded bombs. It is not clear why the bombs did not go off.

    Indonesian authorities in November had received a threat from Islamic State about a coordinated bomb attack in the capital.

    "Around Christmas and New Year's there was a threat by this group [IS] that they will do what they call a 'concert' in Jakarta, meaning they will set off bomb explosions in several places at the same time," said Demon.

    A heavy police presence now on the streets of Jakarta is aimed at reassuring citizens. Zainal Arifin hopes that it will also stop future attacks. “Jakarta’s citizens, including myself, are now scared to go to shopping malls and other public places. But the police say we have nothing to fear because they’ll protect us. Hopefully this won’t happen again,” he said.

    People carry an injured police officer near the site where an explosion went off at a police post, rear, in Jakarta, Indonesia, Jan. 14, 2016.
    People carry an injured police officer near the site where an explosion went off at a police post, rear, in Jakarta, Indonesia, Jan. 14, 2016.

    Another IS external attack

    A U.S. counterterrorism official told VOA there was no reason to doubt Islamic State’s claim of responsibility for the attacks.

    U.S. military and intelligence officials have been warning the terror group has been placing a greater emphasis on so-called external attacks, devoting more people and resources, while using the attacks in Paris that killed 130 as a model.

    “It’s definitely a symptom of the losses they’ve been suffering, like in [the Iraqi city of] Ramadi,” a U.S. official told VOA on condition of anonymity.

    The official said Islamic State has repeatedly shown that when its forces falter fighting a more conventional-style war on the ground, it will shift toward more asymmetric, terrorist tactics, both in Iraq and Syria and elsewhere.

    The official also said it was possible, that like the November Paris attacks, the attack in Jakarta combined the use of “inspired” elements in Indonesia as well as militants taking some direction from Islamic State leaders in Syria and Iraq.

    The United States condemned the attacks "in the strongest possible terms." A White House statement said the U.S. will stand by its strategic partnership with Indonesia and "the Government of Indonesia as it works to bring those responsible for this barbaric terrorist attack to justice and build a more secure future."

    Police officers stand guard outside a damaged Starbucks cafe after an attack in Jakarta, Indonesia Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016.
    Police officers stand guard outside a damaged Starbucks cafe after an attack in Jakarta, Indonesia Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016.

    Attack condemned

    Secretary of State John Kerry also condemned the assault. "We stand together, all of us, united in our efforts to eliminate those who choose terror," Kerry told reporters in London.

    U.N. Secretary General  Ban Ki-moon expressed solidarity with Indonesia's people.

    • Police officers take cover behind a vehicle during a gun battle with attackers near the site where an explosion went off in Jakarta, Indonesia, Jan. 14, 2016. Attackers set off explosions at a Starbucks cafe in a bustling shopping area in the capital and waged gunbattles with police.
    • A plainclothes police officer aims his gun at attackers during a gun battle following explosions in Jakarta.
    • Indonesian workers run as they are evacuated from their offices at Thamrin business district in Jakarta.
    • Several explosions went off and gunfire broke out in the center of the Indonesian capital and police said they suspected a suicide bomber was responsible for at least one the blasts.
    • An Indonesian policeman runs near the site of a blast in the center of the Indonesian capital.
    • Police officers gather outside a Pizza Hut restaurant next door to a Starbucks cafe which was attacked in Jakarta.
    • People carry an injured police officer near the site where an explosion went off in Jakarta.
    • Indonesian soldiers man armored vehicles as they guard near the site where an attack occurred in Jakarta.
    • Indonesians lay flowers near the police post where an attack took place in the center of the Indonesian capital.
    • Indonesian policemen examine debris from a bomb blast inside a Starbucks coffee at Thamrin business district in Jakarta.


    Indonesian President Joko Widodo, speaking to a local television station, condemned the "acts of terror," stressing authorities are working to contain the situation.

    "Our nation and our people should not be afraid. We will not be defeated by these acts of terror. I hope the public stays calm," said the president, who visited the bombing scene later in the day.

    Indonesian President Joko Widodo, center, in white shirt, visits the site of a bomb blast at Thamrin business district in Jakarta, Jan. 14, 2016.
    Indonesian President Joko Widodo, center, in white shirt, visits the site of a bomb blast at Thamrin business district in Jakarta, Jan. 14, 2016.

    Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim-majority nation, has been the target of several terrorist attacks, most notably the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, mostly foreign tourists.

    Before Thursday, the last attack against foreigners was a twin hotel bombing in Jakarta in 2009.

    An Indonesian policeman runs near the site of a blast in Jakarta, Jan. 14, 2016.An Indonesian policeman runs near the site of a blast in Jakarta, Jan. 14, 2016.

    Jakarta has long been warning about the threat of recruitment by Islamic State and other extremist groups. Hundreds of Indonesians are believed to have left to fight with Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

    VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin, State Department correspondent Pam Dockens and William Gallo contributed to this report from Washington.


    Steve Herman

    Steve Herman is VOA's Senior Diplomatic Correspondent, based at the State Department.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: riano baggy from: ina
    January 15, 2016 12:39 AM
    unity make our country strong and brave to fight terrorist
    In Response

    by: Htin Lin Aung from: Yangon , Myanmar
    January 16, 2016 2:30 AM
    right.

    by: Anonymous
    January 14, 2016 9:57 PM
    Counter IS is the responsibility of the international community

    by: Ali Ibrahimi
    January 14, 2016 5:40 PM
    I condemn this terrorist attack.

    by: Marcus Aurelius II from: NJ USA
    January 14, 2016 1:11 PM
    If there is no way found to weed out Islamic terrorists and those who can be radicalized, the only solution the world may have is to outlaw Islam. Islam as taken literally is more than a religion, it is a political cause that is rigid, brutally cruel, and seeks to control the entire world. This cannot be acceptable. If this cancer of Islamic terrorism cannot be weeded out, then the rest of the world will have no alternative. If we don't stop it, eventually they will get their hands on destructive means the likes of which the world has never seen used to kill people.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora