|Indonesian police spokesman shows materials collected as evidence |
from the bombing site, during press conference in Jakarta
on May 25, 2017 [Image Source]
Aljazeera says the explosions went off minutes apart this past Wednesday night around 9:00 pm at Jakarta's Kampung Melayu terminal. They killed three police officers and injured at least 10 others - five of them police, five civilians.
"This is the biggest attack in the capital since last year," Al Jazeera's Step Vaessen said, reporting from Jakarta. "Police say they were on high alert after the attack in Manchester and they were expecting something. They only didn't know what was going to happen and where." ...Authorities in the world's biggest Muslim-majority nation are increasingly worried about a surge in "radicalism", driven in part by a new generation of fighters inspired by ISIL. Indonesia has long been fighting armed groups but in recent years hundreds have flocked to fight for Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria and Iraq... [A]uthorities believe about 400 Indonesians have gone to join the group in Syria, and could pose a more lethal threat if they come home. [Aljazeera, May 25, 2017]Reuters adds that an anti-terrorism unit carried out a raid the following day (Thursday) at the home of one of the suspected human bombs. It quotes a statement by President Joko Widodo: "We must continue to keep calm... keep cool... Muslims are preparing to enter the month of Ramadan for fasting".
Ramadan runs for a month starting tonight (Friday). The Indonesians evidently understand that the passions it arouses have a deeply worrying impact on already feverish Islamist terrorist minds. They probably wonder about the good sense of people like the leader of a Moslem Cultural Center in south-western England who, reflecting on the atrocity in Manchester, is quoted yesterday in a local newspaper saying
“We stand united with Manchester, the British people in general and people all over the world who suffer at the hands of the small yet dangerous minority of murderous extremists and remind people that terrorism has no religion and despite their claim, the terrorists have nothing to do with Islam..." ["Terrorists have nothing to do with Islam", Wiltshire Times UK, May 25, 2017]Considerably more sense emanated from the Archbishop of Canterbury when he said publicly half a year ago:
Society should no longer say the atrocities of Isis have “nothing to do with Islam” because the approach restricts efforts to fight extremism, the Archbishop of Canterbury has warned. The Most Rev Justin Welby has called on all religious leaders to “stand up and take responsibility” for the actions of extremists who claim to be following the strictures of their faith... ["Justin Welby: It's time to stop saying Isis has ‘nothing to do with Islam’", Independent UK, November 19, 2016]And a timely alert from a year-old New York Times article:
As the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan approached, jihadist propagandists told their followers that it was a good time to kill people. The spokesman for the Islamic State said in late May that jihadists should “make it, with God’s permission, a month of pain for infidels everywhere.” Another extremist distributed a manual for using poisons, adding, in poor English: “Dont forget Ramadan is close, the month of victories.” A bloody month it has been [remember - 2016], with terrorist attacks killing and wounding hundreds of people in Orlando, Fla.; Istanbul; Dhaka, Bangladesh; and now Baghdad, where a bomb killed more than 140 people early Sunday in a shopping area full of families who had just broken their Ramadan fasts.
For the vast majority of the world’s Muslims, violence is completely dissonant with the holy month, which in addition to fasting is a time for spiritual renewal, prayer and visits with friends and family.
It is widely believed that the rewards earned for noble acts are greater during Ramadan, which culminates in the Eid holiday this week. Jihadists have perverted this belief to serve their own ends, analysts said. In short: If one believes it is good to kill those who are considered infidels, all the better to do so during Ramadan..." Many large attacks occurred during Ramadan last year , too, hitting a Tunisian beach resort, a Shiite mosque in Kuwait, a Kurdish town in northern Syria and African Union troops in Somalia. ["ISIS Uses Ramadan as Calling for New Terrorist Attacks", New York Times, July 3, 2016]