By Kevin Belanger,
International News Writer
On Jan. 14 2016, Jakarta, Indonesia was the victim of terrorist attacks that left seven dead, according to USA Today. Attackers detonated three bombs in downtown Jakarta, while gunmen attacked several police posts throughout the city.
Five attackers were killed, as well as two civilians. In addition, the Jerusalem Post reports that twenty people were injured in the attack.
CNN reports that Indonesia accused Bahrun Naim, a member of the Hizb-u-Tahrir Islamist movement based in Indonesia, of helping to plan the attacks. Naim is currently believed to be in Raqqa. Naim is active on social media, and is believed to be a strong recruitment figure for ISIS, according to Al Chadar, a lecturer at Malikussaleh University.
The US State Department stated that it stood in solidarity against terrorism with Indonesia.
According to CNN, the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq claimed responsibility for the Jakarta attacks. While Indonesia is primarily Muslim, the Islamic State does not consider the nation to be a true Muslim nation. Jakarta Police chief Tito Karnivian stated that the Islamic State is willing to attack Muslims as well as non-Muslims, unlike other terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda.
Following the attack, the residents of Jakarta continued a tradition of taking to the streets on a weekend to celebrate “No car day.” Like the residents of Paris following the attacks there, residents of Jakarta were defiant of terrorists and declared that celebrating “No car day” was a way of showing that they were not afraid of terrorist threats.
Despite the defiant attitude of its citizens, the nation has been faced with the possibility of reduced tourism numbers. The two people killed in the attacks were of Dutch and Canadian citizenship.
In the wake of the attack, which occurred near many embassies, including that of the United States, the United States warned its citizens to avoid downtown Jakarta.
Noviendi Makalam, of Indonesia’s tourism ministry, stated that the ministry expected a two to three percent drop in the number of tourists visiting the nation, especially Jakarta. However, other tourism companies in the nation do not believe that there will be a significant decline in tourists.
In the wake of the attacks, the Indonesian government is also considering changes to its anti-terrorism laws.
One controversial proposal would allow authorities to arrest anyone who has a “strong indication” that they might be planning an act of terror, Bloomberg reports. However, critics believe that the Indonesian government could use these laws to silence anti-government dissent in addition to fighting terrorism.
Officials also discussed the possibility of arresting anyone returning from fighting as a member of the Islamic State.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, January 26th print edition.
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