What Is The Purpose Of Kampung Melayu Bomb Attacks?

What Is The Purpose Of Kampung Melayu Bomb Attacks?

Only hours before Jakartans looked forward to enjoying the Ascension of Jesus Christ public holiday, a twin bomb attack struck the Kampung Melayu Transjakarta bus terminal on Wednesday night. Two suspected suicide bombers died instantly. At least five policemen who were escorting a traditional parade to welcome the Islamic fasting month of Ramadhan also fell victim, three of whom are reported to have died. At least five civilians were also injured. As of midnight, no claim of responsibility for the attack had been received.

The terrorist attack took place while the world was still mourning the victims of the suicide bombing of the concert by US pop star Ariana Grande in Manchester, UK, only a day before.

The attack is believed to have been targeted at the police, making it the latest terror attack to have targeted the police in recent years. Previously, on Jan. 14, 2016, Jakarta was rocked by multiple explosions, including one at a police post, and gunfire around the Sarinah shopping mall in Central Jakarta. At least eight people, including four attackers and four civilians, were killed. A total of 20 people were injured, including five police officers. The police suspected the perpetrators of the attack were related to terror groups behind other attacks in other countries, including the Manchester bombing.

The source said the bomber, identified only as Ichwan Nurul Salam, was born in Bandung on Dec. 28, 1985, and was a resident of the West Java capital. The other had not been identified. The bombers triggered the explosives 10 to 12 meters apart from each other.

Personnel from the National Police’s Densus 88 counterterrorism squad have found links between the twin bombings at the Kampung Melayu bus terminal in East Jakarta and the Bandung bombing early this year following searches of the houses of the alleged suicide bombers on Thursday.  “INS’s wife was once introduced by her husband to Agus, one of the Cicendo bombing suspects” said West Java Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Yusri Yunus, using the initials INS to refer to one of the alleged suicide bombers, Ichwan Nurul Salam.

Agus is suspected to have rigged the pressure cooker bomb, which exploded at Pandawa Park in Cicendo, Bandung on Feb. 27. Both Ichwan and Agus lived in Batununggal district. Police conducted a search of Ichwan’s rental house in the Batununggal, Bandung, West Java and seized documents and camping kits as evidence. Police also took Ichwan’s wife for further questioning in addition to placing a police line around the house.

To finding links with the Cicendo terror group, police may also find leads suggesting links between Ichwan and the terror network led by Abu Salam, the perpetrator of pressure cooker bomb attack in Bandung who was gunned down by police. Police also searched a house in Sirnagalih village, Cipongkor, West Bandung, believed to belong to the other alleged bomber Ahmad Sukri. Through questioning of Sukri’s mother, EN, 61, police learned that Sukri had been staying in a rental house in Garut for the past three months with his wife and two children. Police took EN for further questioning and took blood DNA samples to match with Sukri’s.


The double suicide bombing on Wednesday night near a Transjakarta bus station in Kampung Melayu, East Jakarta, that killed three police officers was an act of retaliation against the police. The director of the Jakarta-based Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC), Sidney Jones, said that the police had been seen as protectors of a thogut state that rejects application of Islamic law. In Islamic theology, thogut refers to those who worship anything other than Allah.

The purpose of the attack was also to show their presence following numerous police actions in past years that had weakened terrorist groups in the country.

I think we can’t link Kampung Melayu bomb attacks with ISIS in Indonesia, because the claim which related Kampung Melayu attacks with ISIS just only make ISIS has a great gain. Until now, there isn’t an indication that ISIS’s cell has been performed in Indonesia. Several radical groups in Indonesia had been sworn loyal to ISIS or Daesh but after  took it, their organization has been dismissed.

Kampung Melayu bomb attacks, it looks like reveange abraupt attack with main message is the perpetrators want to show that if the government of Indonesia doesn’t take a humble and equal position with Muslim communties, maybe the next bomb attacks will be happened.

At least, maybe these indicator could be explained about Kampung Melayu bomb attacks. Before Kampung Melayu bomb attacks had been happened, the national situation is colored with a massive intolerance action and its tend to rise-up uncertainty.

Meanwhile, several radical groups has been judged that allegation theologian discrimination and HTI banning had been taken by the government to erase or to minimalize the trend of threat to national tenet, Pancasila. Globally and apparantly, a series of bomb attacks had been happened in Germany, France, Turkey, Sweden, and England (London and Manchester) which could be pushed several radical and group terrors have been launching their attacks with a random targets eventhough their main target is security apparatus especially Police and an intelligence apparatus.

However, Kampung Melayu bomb attacks has been shown that the war against terrorism, radicalism and an intolerance spirit didn’t finish yet, because many of the exist of terror groups still have an intention and a capacity to launch their attack and those situation had been beefed-up with the raising of an intolerance spirit never shut-down.

We can predict that other bomb attacks may happen again if the situation which can trigger a terror group come back still producing by us through the wrong policy examination, un-stable relation between all national stakeholders and last but not least if an intolerance spirit has been implementing in our life, because an intolerance spirit and though blatant is a looming of a terror attacks.

*) Datuak Tjumano, The author is a senior researcher at LSISI, Jakarta.

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