Jakarta Blasts Follow Deadly Blueprint of Paris Attacks
A series of explosions hit the Indonesian capital of Jakarta on Thursday, January 14, reportedly killing at least 10 people. Later on in the day, Jakarta police confirmed that Daesh (also known as Islamic State) was behind the blasts.
As many as six blasts hit central Jakarta, local media reported. One of the bombs went off near a shopping mall in an area where prestigious hotels, embassies and office buildings are located. Another blast occurred near the UN office building, injuring a UN worker.
Reports indicate that at least 10 people were killed in a series of explosions in the Indonesian capital after several assailants entered the downtown area on motorcycles, carrying rifles and explosives. Reuters also reported that a police officer was killed in the attacks.
According to preliminary data, there were 10-14 attackers. After the blasts, police were involved in a gunfight with the terrorists. The shootout lasted for at least an hour and a half, resulting in three attackers being killed. Currently, the area is has been cordoned off by police. The roads are blocked, and armored vehicles have been deployed to the area.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo has called the explosions a terrorist act.
'Our nation and our people should not be afraid, acts of terrorism will not defeat us, and I hope that society remains calm. We all have regrets over those killed during the incident, but also condemn this as it has violated our security and peace and spread fear among the people,' Widodo said.
While the president has warned against speculation, claims that Daesh militants were behind them came almost immediately.
Later on the day, Jakarta police chief Tito Karnavian confirmed that Daesh militants were responsible.
'We are pursuing the network of assailants, namely the Islamic State [Daesh] network,' he said was quoted as saying by the VIVA news outlet.
The attacks were carried out the same way as the series of attacks in Paris in November 2015. Just as in Paris, the terrorists attacked several targets almost at the same time.
The level of coordination required for the multiple attacks on Thursday indicates that Daesh could have been involved, analysts say.
According to the Al Jazeera broadcaster, Indonesia's police have confirmed that Daesh recently threatened the country directly.
CNN security analyst Bob Baer said the Jakarta attacks bear the signature of ISIS [Daesh]. It 'sounds like the Paris attack to me,' he was quoted as saying on the news channel.
He added that many Daesh fighters have combat skills received in Syria and Iraq, including in operating explosives.
According to Karnavian, Daesh which has been expanding its influence in the world in recent year has started to spread into Central Asia.
'The apparent multiple gunmen acting in synchronicity and the possible use of suicide vests – this is hard to pin down at the moment – suggests an ISIS [Daesh] signature, as this signature was certainly there in Paris on November 13. This is speculative at this point of course,' Kumar Ramakrishna from the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies told The Straits Times.
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