Columns

Terror Attack in Indonesian Capital Leaves at Least 7 Dead

Via the Associated Press:

Attackers set off explosions at a Starbucks cafe in a bustling shopping area of downtown Jakarta and waged gun-battles with police Thursday, leaving bodies in the streets as office workers watched in terror from high-rise windows.

There were unconfirmed media reports of explosions in other parts of Jakarta.

Police said four of the attackers and three others were killed in the brazen attacks, which came after several warnings in recent weeks by the police that Islamic militants were planning something big. It was unclear if other perpetrators remained at large.

There is conflicting information as to whether there were suicide bombers who blew themselves up. No group has claimed responsibility yet, but ISIS has been a growing concern the Muslim nation.

ISIS has a presence in Indonesia, where it has long sought to establish a “distant caliphate” in Indonesia, according to the Australian Attorney-General George Brandis.

“ISIS has identified Indonesia as a location of its ambitions,” Brandis told The Australian newspaper in December.

Up to 700 Indonesians have traveled to Syria in recent years to fight with anti-regime forces, with the majority allying themselves with ISIS, according to the Indonesian government.

Indonesia fighters have also appeared in ISIS propaganda.

Indonesian police said that the perpetrators of a foiled bomb plot late last year were “influenced by ISIS.”

We can all take comfort that the leader of the free world just assured us that this kind of stuff is rare and being carried out by some fringe fanatics.