JAKARTA, INDONESIA — Indonesia is intensifying security in places of worship and public places, following a suicide bombing attempt near a cathedral in Makassar, South Sulawesi on 28 Mar and an attack on the country’s National Police headquarters three days later.
A security worker was injured while trying to stop the culprits from entering the cathedral.
As many as 20 were injured. The two suicide bombers—a married couple—died at the scene, the National Police said.
National Police Chief Listyo Sigit Prabowo stated in an official statement that the Jamaah Ansharut Daullah was allegedly behind the Makassar suicide bombing.
Terrorist expert at the University of Malikussaleh in Aceh, Al Chaidar claimed that the suicide bombers at the Makassar Cathedral were part of the ISIS-affiliated JAD, Tribun News reported.
His analysis was based on the targets of the bombings were similar to those in Surabaya in 2018 and Jolo in the Philippines in 2019. Those attacks targeted Catholic churches.
Security beefed up after suicide bombing at cathedral, shooting at the National Police headquarters
Indonesia’s regional police offices are intensifying security in places of worship and public places, as several national media outlets reported.
The Soekarno-Hatta Resort Police Office is also reinforcing security at the international airport by requiring police personnel to wear body vests and carry metal detectors, said Soekarno-Hatta police chief Adi Ferdian.
Other airports such as Kupang’s El Tari and Bandung’s Husein Sastranegara are also tightening their security levels.
Some irregularities in shooting at National Police headquarters, says terrorism expert
On 31 March, a veiled woman tried to enter the National Police Headquarter complex, bringing a weapon that looks like a gun. But the police gunned her down.
The shooting at the National Police headquarters came amid the police’s raids on alleged terrorist suspects across the archipelago after the Makassar incident.
Terrorist expert Harits Abu Ulya, as cited in Republika, warned Indonesians not to label the incident at the National Police headquarters as a terrorist attack.
He raised the issue of how the woman was able to pass the metal detectors while entering the National Police headquarters.
Also, he questioned why the woman was executed, as she could have been interrogated first. The interrogation may have helped the police to trace who ordered her to carry out such an act.