Friday, July 17, 2009

2 bombs exploded in Jakarta

In this photo released by Indonesian State Secretariat, the interior of a restaurant at Ritz-Carlton is damaged after an explosion in Jakarta, Indonesia, Friday, July 17, 2009. Bombs minutes apart ripped through the J.W. Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels, located side-by-side in an upscale business district in the capital Friday, ending a four-year lull in terror attacks in the world's most populous Muslim nation. (daylife)

9 peopled killed so far. We have been successful in rolling up terrorist networks in the past 6 years, where we capture and tried, in some cases killed, most of the main players. It seems some of them have rebuilt some of their capabilities. Oh well, more work to do.

And it looks like our boys are pretty thorough. An immediate lead has surfaced.

"Jakarta Police said suspected perpetrators of the two bomb attacks in the Kuningan business area in South Jakarta on Friday had stayed at one of the hotels they targeted.

Police chief Insp. Gen. Wahyono said the suspects checked into room 1808 on the 18th floor of JW Marriott Hotel, where the bomb squad found an active bomb during a search after the attacks on Friday morning.

When asked if the suspects were foreigners or not, Wahyono he said his team was still investigating. "
(The Jakarta Post)

It is reported that the bomb exploded at 7.47 AM. It might be curious what they attack went that early, but in hotels, morning is quite a rush hour considering the number of people going back and forth to get their breakfast or preparing for their meetings, etc. Indonesia is a morning country. Everything starts early.

For sure, there is a terrible lax of security procedures being enforced in these two hotels if guests can smuggle an active bomb in to their hotels. These hotels know they are high value target and they must have those screening device for anyone entering the hotels like those in airports. Most likely the guards pretty much relaxed the security screening not to inconvenient guests and ignore much of the warning that goes off with the devices. That's screening by facade.

The common opinion right now points to two suicide bombers operating separately in two hotels. Now that we have the hotel room information in which one of the bombers are staying, I think in one or two days we will have sketches of the fuckers in public.

Interestingly, there are a lot of counter terorrism activities leading up to this point.
(July 16)
The Indonesian police earlier this week found suspected bomb-making materials hidden underneath a house used by the al-Muaddib Islamic boarding school in Cilacap, Central Java. These materials were uncovered during a second raid on the house performed on 14 July. In addition to chemicals used for making bombs--including sulfur and potassium--they found cables and detonators. (CT blog)

This what happened a month ago(June 24)

"With a presidential election slated for 8 July, the Indonesian security forces have recently gone into overdrive while making a series of arrests of terrorist suspects. Over the past couple of days, the police counter-terrorist unit, Special Detachment 88, has detained two radicals believed to be Singaporean nationals. The first, Syamsul Anwar alias Somad bin Soba, was arrested in Bandar Lampung, Lampung province. The second, Husaini, who had been living in Malang, East Java province, was picked up while en route to Central Java." (Counterterrorism blog)

Indonesia has a police unit called Detachment 88 dedicated to terrorism issues (the name 88 was based on the number of Australian tourists that died in Bali 2002), formed pretty much with US assistance via CIA, FBI, and US Secret Service. On any event though, they work closely with the Australian Federal Police, as they have been since 2003.

Since this is a police unit, albeit really muscular, they are responsible to handle evidence, capture suspects, etc. Most of their raids resulted in arrests instead of termination.

Here's an article about them from Sydney Morning Herald.

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