Jakarta bombers suspected of having IS links

The two suspects who killed three policemen at a bus terminal in East Jakarta on Wednesday night in a suicide-bombing had ties to the Islamic State (IS) terror group, the police said on Thursday.

East Jakarta police chief Andry Wibowo said that the damage at the bus terminal indicated that the explosion had been "pretty big".

National police spokesman, Inspector Gen. Setyo Wasisto, said the officers were on duty securing a parade.

The main investigation was handed over early Thursday to the police's elite anti-terror squad Densus 88, which has played a leading role in tracking down and killing some of Indonesia's most wanted militants.

Police found a sales invoice dated May 22 from a store in Padalarang, West Java, showing the purchase of a pressure cooker, metal plates, nails, ball bearings, cable switchers and other bomb-making materials.

The bus station bombing was the deadliest attack in Indonesia since January previous year, when a suicide blast and gun assault claimed by ISIL left four attackers and four civilians dead in central Jakarta.

The Islamic State (IS) has in recent years been a major problem for Indonesia, with hundreds of radicals flocking to fight with the jihadists.

Indonesia is on high alert because of attacks by extremist groups and citizens returning from fighting in Syria. "Five policeman, one of whom was killed", Syafruddin said.

"While we mourn, we must learn from these events as we do and sharpen our resolve to defeat the terrorists overseas and at home", said Turnbull, referring also to the suicide bombing at the Manchester Arena in Britain that killed 22 this week.

The police said one the two explosions was at a bus shelter while another went off near a parking lot about 10m away.

"The police are the ones who arrest mujahideen (one who engages in jihad) and sometimes kill them in operations.", she said yesterday.

The government has carried out a sustained crackdown on militants since the 2002 Bali bombings by Al Qaeda-affiliated attackers that killed 202 people.

Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim-majority country, generally follows a moderate form of the faith. Jakarta police have not attributed the attack to any specific group; as of this writing, no groups have claimed responsibility for the attack.

"It is alleged that the perpetrators are the ISIS group", he said.

  • Leroy Wright