Multiple ISIS-Linked Attacks in Central Jakarta Kill At Least Two, Injure 19

Attack in Indonesia fourth Islamic State attack outside Iraq and Syria in 2016



At least 10 militants set off multiple explosions in a commercial district in Jakarta in the area of a United Nations information center, including in front of a Starbucks and a nearby shopping mall, as CNN reports. Gunmen took two hostages at the Starbucks after a suicide bomber blew himself up, killing them in a parking lot, as well as opening fire on people in the street. Indonesian security forces entered the areas and participated in a shootout with the militants, saying they killed five.

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attack. Police in Indonesia arrested at least nine suspected militants last month, accusing them of plotting New Year's Day attacks and of being affiliated with ISIS. Police identified Bahrun Naim as the "mastermind" of today's attacks, someone they had arrested in 2011  for illegal gun possession who they say gained influence in militant networks across Central Java, where groups like Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), an Al-Qaeda affiliate operate.

Last year, Naim moved to Raqqa, Syria, to join ISIS, and after the November attacks in Paris, began to call on Indonesians to perpetrate similar attacks there, saying there were enough ISIS supporters there to "carry out an action". At least 50 Indonesians went to Syria to join ISIS between 2012 and 2014, according to a report (pdf) by one conflict monitoring group based in Jakarta.

In its statement, ISIS said it was targeting gatherings of the "Crusader alliance that fights the Islamic State in Jakarta," meaning the multiple United Nations agencies with offices in the area, and claimed the attackers had killed 15 people. Local authorities cite the total death count as seven, including five suspected attackers.

The Jakarta attacks are the fourth ISIS-linked attacks outside its territory in Iraq and Syria in 2016 already, coming two days after a suicide bomber killed at least 11 people, mostly German tourists, in Istanbul.

On January 7, a truck bomb in Libya targeting police recruits killed at least 47 people, and last weekend two tourists were stabbed after suspected ISIS-linked militants stormed a resort hotel in Egypt.

NEXT: Bernie Sanders Is Better on Campus Rape Issues Than Marco Rubio

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. At least 50 Indonesians went to Syria to join ISIS between 2012 and 2014, according to a report (pdf) by one conflict monitoring group based in Jakarta.

    So ISIS is the one with open borders…


    2. Only 50? Damn, they are more moderate than UK at this point.

  2. Well, you know, this is really all the fault of Indonesia’s lax gun control laws…

  3. So, continuing with the much-misunderstood ‘slow news day’ meme, Seattle Times has had two headlines today, one about too many oscar winners being white, the other about dirty outsiders moving in and changing the beloved character of the city. CNN currently has as its front page the first January hurricane since 1938, and then right below that, oscar nominees being too white.

    So is this Jakarta thing just kind of a “meh”?

    1. Nancy Drew in her TV re-boot is going to be ‘diverse’ so that’s progress at least.

      1. Tell me’s going to be Shanequa Drew, and I will totally watch that.

    2. “too many Oscar winners being white”

      At least we’re no longer pretending that the Oscars are about recognizing the quality of movies. I saw an article about how the Academy can’t handle female sexuality because Carol wasn’t nominated for Best Picture, despite the fact that it received several other nominations. (Also, I’m just ranting now but….star wars for best editing? Laughable)

    3. about dirty outsiders moving in and changing the beloved character of the city.

      Since you put no links, I’d like more context on it. Up here, in Lesser Seattle, it’s common wisdom that housing is expensive because of Dem Chinamens Coming And Buying Everything UP.

  4. This is obviously due to Indonesia’s lack of diversity.

  5. Wasn’t Libya one of the countries that has taken the most refugees from Syria?

    1. Taken? Or is Libya’s government simply too ineffective (read: libertarian) to stop them?

      1. No, I believe along with Jordan they’ve willing accepted anyone fleeing ISIS. I’m also pretty sure their aid is basically limited refugee camp type situations, so they aren’t in the same boat as Europe.

  6. Indonesia has been held up around here as a Muslim nation that doesn’t have all that icky Islamic fanaticism. Oops!

    1. It is just blowback. If Indonesia hadn’t done so much bombing and meddling in the middle east over the last 40 years, they would not be the target of terrorism.

      Right? I mean Indonesia is asking for it right? It is not like this stuff can ever happen unless someone made these poor Muslims strike out in rage.

      1. Isn’t that where our totally non-Muslim President grew up attending a Madrasa and hearing the lovely sounds of the calls to prayer?

        1. The most lovely sound in the world he called it.

        2. How many years did he spend over there? I’m not a believer in the secret Muslim bit (he seems much more likely to be an atheist to me), but that might explain his complete tone deafness with the Syrian refugee thing. If he spent formative years there he might have an over romanticized view of the culture (for the same reason the cartoons from our childhood are always the best cartoons).

          1. I think he’s a religious atheist and a cultural Muslim.

            1. I think he’s a religious autotheist.

          2. for the same reason the cartoons from our childhood are always the best cartoons

            Looney Tunes and Robotech are objectively best!!!!!

            1. Seconded on Looney Tunes.

              1. Thirded! All other cartoons (with the possible exception of the Animaniacs) fail utterly by comparison.

                1. Fourthed!

  7. In other horrible news, Alan Richman has died. I guess we have our number two to go with David Bowe in the New Years celebrity death comes in three. David Bowie and Alan Richman are dead yet Sean Penn and Henry Rollins live on. God really does hate us.

    1. Rickman. Yes, another loss. Everyone is talking about his Harry Potter roles, but for me he’ll always be Hans Gruber from Die Hard and Alexander Dane in Galaxy Quest. (The latter is an extremely funny and well-done film, especially if you have any knowledge of, and affection for, Star Trek and science fiction fandom in general.)

  8. That’ll teach that Indonesia for their wanton militarism in the middle east, and unwavering support of Israel.

    1. They were asking for it Gilmore

    2. I have it on good authority that Indonesia is using this “terrorist” attack as an excuse to murder Palestinians.

  9. In July 2008, Bashir formed Jamaah Ansharut Tauhid (Community of the Helpers of the Oneness of God) and most members of JI, particularly those who were still disposed towards violence, transferred to the new organisation. It soon had between 1500 to 2000 members spread across Indonesia, including in Aceh and Central Sulawesi. The United States declared JAT a foreign terrorist organisation in March 2012; it is still not listed by Australia.

    The biggest international change has been the rise of Islamic State, which in June 2014 announced the establishment of a caliphate in Syria and Iraq. Many devout Indonesian Muslims welcomed the establishment of a religion-based non-political state that Sunni Muslims could call their own, where sharia would be enforced and life ordered by the Koran.…..jz1xf.html

    1. Community of the Helpers of the Oneness of God

      Those achieving oneness will move onto twoness.

  10. People look for someone to blame because they’re hoping there’s a workable solution.

    It took us decades to defeat totalitarian communism as a major security threat, and vestiges of it still remained in North Korea and elsewhere. Defeating Muslim terrorism as a security threat will no doubt take longer than that.

    And blaming Trump or Obama or Islam itself completely misses the point.

    We won the war against communism through military vigilance and with major contributions from our allies, but it was also about economics and convincing people that civil liberties and market capitalism offered a better life than what they could get under communism.

    We’ll win the fight against Muslim terrorism the same way. But we’re not a President or war away from winning the hearts and minds of Muslims everywhere. That’s going to take time. It took us 40 years to win the Cold War.

    And it took blue jeans and rock & roll and Lech Walesa and Vaclav Havel and George Orwell and lots of other things that didn’t have anything to do with Presidents or wars, too.

    1. convincing people that civil liberties and market capitalism offered a better life than what they could get under communism.

      You should give this talk in front of the City Council.

      1. No question a lot of people here in the U.S today missed the memo.

        But the people of Czechoslovakia in 1968, Poland in 1981, Romania in 1989, and even China in 2001 had fewer illusions about the superiority of market capitalism and civil rights.

        ISIS is still in a revolutionary phase, but their system of a state will fail to deliver prosperity or a quality of life. Centrally planned cultures always fail because they’re centrally planned.

        1. People in Czechoslovakia, Poland and Romania had fewer illusions about “superiority of market capitalism and civil rights” in 1945. Which is why, despite their best efforts AND the presence of Red Army, Communists didn’t win a single post-war election held in East and Central Europe.
          Trust me on this – people in any Communist-run country (well, maybe 30s USSR) didn’t need to be told Communism isn’t working. They never wanted it in the first place. Shit, even the much-mocked “hearts and minds” in Vietnam was a waste of time – Communists didn’t reunify with votes and cheers, they reunified with T-55s, AKs and mass executions.

          1. I bet there aren’t a lot of people who actually live under ISIS that need a lot of convincing that ISIS’ system sucks either.

            It’s harder to convince would-be terrorist recruits from elsewhere that ISIS’ system is shitty compared to market capitalism and civil rights–but once we get a critical mass of them to see that, that kind of terrorism won’t be so much of a problem anymore.

            Voting for the right U.S. President won’t accomplish that and neither will fighting the right war. I wish more of my fellow Americans saw this as the long term struggle it is. The obvious and easy “solutions” often make things worse.

            I think invading Iraq made things worse, and I’m not convinced fighting in Vietnam made our case against communism to the world any better.

    2. I don’t think it “misses the point” to blame Islam. I think you are missing the point. Islam is a violent, totalitarian, expansionist, political/religion mix. We see that everywhere it gets any power. And the terrorists aren’t some tiny, shunned offshoot that’s “misinterpreting” Islam. They are following the Koran precisely, more precisely than “moderate” Muslims, and scores of polls over many years prove that they are getting support from a significant fraction of Muslims worldwide.

      1. And to anticipate objections: yes, most Muslims aren’t slaughtering anyone, but that proves little. Most Communists and Nazis didn’t put people into camps, either. They all still support an ideology that provides justification for atrocities.

    3. Spot on Ken.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.