Jakarta bombings 17/7/09

SpitfireV

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Embassy officials are searching Jakarta hospitals for more Kiwis after a terror attack in the Indonesian capital killed a New Zealander.

Bombs tore through the five-star Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott hotels in Jakarta yesterday, killing at least nine people and injuring 50 others, just as breakfast meetings began in a district frequented by Westerners.

The bombs were thought to have been carried into the hotels by suicide bombers. An unexploded bomb was also found at the Marriott Hotel.

New Zealander Timothy David Mackay, 62, was at the Marriott for a business meeting and was killed in the blast at 7.45am (12.45pm NZ time). The father-of-two had worked in Jakarta as president director of PT Holcim Indonesia since 2004.

Witnesses said shattered glass and debris littered the street outside. About 100 foreign and Indonesian hotel guests gathered outside, some still in bathrobes.

New Zealander Tom Warden was reported as saying: "There were people in the elevator saying, `we've got to get the hell out of here'."

The Marriott was also attacked in 2003, when 12 people died. Southeast Asian terror network Jemaah Islamiyah was blamed in that blast and is suspected in yesterday's bombings.

Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country, has a history of terrorist attacks, including the Bali bombings of 2002 which claimed 202 lives, including three New Zealanders and 88 Australians.

Chris Holm a New Zealand journalist based in Jakarta, was at the scene and said the front of Ritz-Carlton was blasted out. "There was a lot of damage on the first and second floor. You could see a chandelier hanging there."

Fifty ambulances were outside, and there was a strangely subdued atmosphere. "The army was out in force ... It's an attack on the heart of the business community in Jakarta. Captains of industry, heads of companies all frequent these hotels."

Another Kiwi journalist, Cameron Bates, also in Jakarta, said security at the city's hotels was a joke. "It looks impressive but if you wanted to smuggle a bomb or parts of a bomb in you wouldn't have too many difficulties."

The attack seemed to signal a shift in tactics by terrorists from car bombing to bombs inside buildings. "It's concerning for foreigners and anyone considering travelling to Indonesia."

A Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry travel advisory for Indonesia was updated last night with information about the attacks. Indonesia was already labelled a high-risk destination, with warnings against all non-essential travel.
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The Indonesian embassy in Wellington strongly condemned the attacks, calling them "cruel" and "inhumane".

Prime Minister John Key said the attack was "another tragic moment" for Indonesia. "This is a deliberate attack designed to kill and wound innocent people.

"For the New Zealander whose life has been claimed it's a tragic set of circumstances and our heart goes out to their family and friends."

Mr Mackay was known for his work in developing countries and had worked in Fiji and Sri Lanka. He had an MBA from Massey University.

Friend Jeremy Smith told TV3's Campbell Live he was well known for his dedication. "It's barely believable. It's just so sad. He was just a very dedicated and competent person who knew how to connect with people."

Mr Mackay's former wife, Fran, told One News he was an "extremely special man". "He will be missed by all of us. He was a very good man."

TERRIBLE MEMORIES

A Kiwi who lived through the devastation of the Jakarta Marriott Hotel bombings in 2003 says the latest attacks bring back memories of absolute "carnage".

Bernard Isherwood lived in the Marriott Hotel for more than two years and said security was completely overhauled after the last attack. "But you can't stop someone [a suicide bomber] walking in," he said from his Nelson home.

The 59-year-old security specialist said after the 2003 bombings locals were "distressed and embarrassed" that foreigners were targeted.

Amanda Stanaway and husband Andrew survived the Bali bombing in 2002 and said news of the latest violence had brought back terrible memories.

"My heart really goes out to the families of those affected. I think that every country now ... has the makings for this to happen. I don't think we're as safe as we used to be."

JI strike again.

As mentioned in the article, the change in MO is interesting. What's also interesting is that it appears (unconfirmed) that these were explosives left by themselves, with no suicide bomber attached.
 

SpitfireV

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The bombers? I've no idea.

Seems they did use human boom booms now. None of the earlier reports I read mentioned that.

Experts are pointing at Malaysian-born explosives expert Noordin Top as the mastermind behind attacks on two luxury hotels in Jakarta that killed a New Zealander and three Australians.

As confirmation came that Australians Nathan Verity, Craig Senger and Garth McEvoy had died in the bombings, an anti-terror official from the Indonesian security ministry, Ansyaad Mbai, told the state-run Antara news agency that Top was responsible.

"From the modus operandi, this is clearly linked to Noordin Top," he said.

New Zealand business executive Tim Mackay, 62, was also killed in the attacks.

Last month, there were sightings of Top in central Java. Two weeks ago, authorities in Bogor believed they had him in their grasp. Earlier last week, a raid on his father-in-law's house uncovered bombs and a treasure trove of intelligence.

The trail has been hot but Top has continued to defy a massive police hunt. And now it is believed his extraordinary elusiveness has enabled Top - number three on the FBI's list of wanted terrorists - to have masterminded Friday's deadly attacks on two luxury hotels in Jakarta.

The types of explosives used - packed with nails, ball bearings, nuts and bolts to cause maximum carnage - is a signature of Top. So was the use of suicide bombers and the targeting of wealthy foreigners.

Even the name given to book the room at the JW Marriott hotel that became the nerve centre of the Jakarta operation, Nurdin Aziz, bore a remarkable resemblance to that of the man who has had a leading hand in the murder of almost 300 people in terrorist attacks stretching back to the first Bali bombings in 2002.

Top is unquestionably the man most sought-after by regional counter-terrorism authorities.

He first came to light after the attacks on the Australian embassy in Jakarta in 2004. He is suspected of watching the devastating blast that killed nine people before escaping on a motorbike.

Further inquiries revealed that he attended the key meeting of the terrorist group Jemaah Islamiah's leadership in Bangkok that devised the first Bali bombings. He was involved in the first JW Marriott bombing and released a propaganda video boasting of the murders after the second Bali attacks in 2005.

An intensive police surveillance operation followed the 2005 Bali attacks and Top and his mentor, fellow Malaysian bomb-maker Azhari Husin, were tracked to Batu in East Java. Husin died in an intense volley of gunfire; Top escaped.

Another raid at a safe house in Central Java used by Top also failed to locate him.

It became a regular pattern. Top is believed to have fled back to Malaysia for a time before returning to Indonesia.
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As he confounded the authorities, the man the FBI calls a "charismatic leader and a recruiter" set up Tanzim Qaedat al-Jihad for hardliners within Jemaah Islamiah disaffected by the central leadership's decision to stop using mass casualty attacks to achieve their aim of an Islamic caliphate.
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QC

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Not sure if you saw it where you are but the CCTV footage from the reception area had him in the hotel lobby, so I'd take a punt and say they took a room and went from there.
 

hoepoe

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Yes, it is being reported that they were guests at the hotel.

The same is thought of 2 of the attackers that took part in the Mumbai attacks Nov last year.

H
 

American-n-NZ

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then they are doing better recon of their sites by staying in the actual place. I didn't see the video, but I also don't have a TV. I would guess that they could easily learn when the busiest times of day are. That is the stuff that is the scariest.
 

QC

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They targeted business leaders. Pointedly, the local Indonesians have come to condemn the bombings with vigils in front of the targeted hotels with much regret and condemnation. I don't think they would dare attack Bali again.
 

QC

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then they are doing better recon of their sites by staying in the actual place. I didn't see the video, but I also don't have a TV. I would guess that they could easily learn when the busiest times of day are. That is the stuff that is the scariest.

Thinking about it, they attacked from behind the perimeter...very clever.
 

SpitfireV

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Very clever.

The first of the Jakarta hotel bombings' seven victims has been buried - just days after he again became a father.

The wife of 38-year-old Evert Mocodompis could not attend his funeral because she gave birth to their second child the day before he was killed, local media reported.

He died while working in the restaurant of the JW Marriott hotel on Friday. Family and friends sang hymns and tossed flowers on his grave.

Police continued to piece together bomb fragments, body parts and other clues gathered from the Marriott and the Ritz-Carlton, which was bombed within minutes of Friday's first blast.

Police have said explosive material recovered at the hotels is "identical" to that used by the Southeast Asian terrorist network Jemaah Islamiyah in earlier attacks.

An unexploded bomb left in a room of the Marriott resembled devices used in attacks on Bali and one found in a recent raid against the network on an Islamic boarding school in Central Java, national police spokesman told a news conference on Sunday.

The culprits in Friday's attacks that killed seven and wounded 50 are believed to have belonged to Jemaah Islamiyah "because there are similarities in the bombs used," Major Gen Nanan Sukarna said.

The decapitated bodies of the two alleged suicide bombers were also recovered at the scenes, police said.

Anti-terrorism police were hunting for Noordin Mohammad Top, a fugitive Malaysian who heads a particularly violent offshoot of the network and has been linked to four major strikes in Indonesia since 2002.

The twin suicide bombings came four years after the last serious terrorist attack in Indonesia and unleashed a new wave of anxiety in the world's largest Muslim-majority country.

After years of sectarian violence and annual terrorist strikes, the nation of 235 million had been enjoying a period of stability.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was re-elected to a second term earlier this month, partly on the strength of government efforts to fight terrorism.

"I am shocked by these bombings," Razif Harahap, a 45-year-old graduate student, said in Jakarta on Sunday. "The same people who carried out these attacks could launch another one, because the mastermind is still at large."

Investigators are trying to identify the two bombers, one of whom is believed to be Indonesian. Knowing who they are could help determine if they had links to Noordin.

and

The New Zealander killed in last week's Jakarta hotel bombing, Timothy Mackay, was maimed by the suicide bomb set off behind him in a wheeled suitcase.

The 62-year-old president director of the Swiss-owned Holcim Indonesia cement company had his legs severely injured by the explosion of nuts and screws packed around the home-made bomb.

A Reuters photograph carried in Singapore's Straits Times newspaper on Saturday showed the explosion also injured his face.

Mr Mackay - who will be buried in New Zealand on Thursday - died in hospital, apparently after being taken there by a staff member at the Singapore embassy, who was passing by the area on his way to work, the Straits Times reported.

A Dutch businessman, Roy Widosuwito, told the newspaper Mr Mackay was in a group of men at the breakfast table in a lounge just off the Marriott hotel's lobby.

Mr Widosuwito said he sat at the end of the table furthest from the entrance, next to American James Castle, a long-time Jakarta political lobbyist and business consultant, whose company CastleAsia was hosting the breakfast. He looked up to see a fireball.

"I recognised this was a bomb because I've lived here for quite some time, so you know about these things," he said.

Mr Widosuwito said footage of the apparent bomber making his way to the lounge suggested the bomb was in the wheeled bag.

"It exploded from a low point, that's why I had a screw lodged in my right thigh and shrapnel in my left leg, instead of my arms and face being hit by the screws," he said.

The most seriously injured of the survivors, Dutchman Max Boon, aged in his 30s, was sitting near the entrance, and his left foot was amputated above the ankle and his lungs injured.

The other men at the corner of the breakfast table closest to the doorway the suicide bomber used to enter the room, Mr Mackay and three Australians - trade official Craig Senger, human resources manager Nathan Verity and mining executive Garth McEvoy - were killed, as was Indonesian head waiter Evert Mokodompit.

The Australian newspaper reported the men never stood a chance and would not have seen the bomber enter the room behind them. Those at the head of the table were more fortunate, partly shielded from the explosion by two large pillars.

The Wall Street Journal reported a total of 19 senior business leaders attended the breakfast.

Investigators have said the bombers stayed in Room 1808 of the Marriott for two nights before walking into dining and meeting areas and detonating their devices.

A US embassy source told The Australian the main damage was done by the bag on wheels.

"It basically ripped everyone through the floor and that's why all the legs are shattered and the impacts are in the lower extremities," he said.
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"The upper one (bomb) basically blew the suicide bomber apart and anything that came out of that hit people from the top.

"The ones that were closest to the door had the highest impact. "

The US embassy source said the attack appeared a "rather surgical plan to target this meeting room". In the room were American, Australian, New Zealand, Italian, Dutch and Indonesian energy, mining, recruitment and telecommunications chiefs, along with consultants and government mission representatives.
 

jtprgr375

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fucking brilliant. Seriously, what a message to send. Not only do you have to worry about threats from the outside, but now, we got past your "security", and you are still going to die.
 

shadoload

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They are getting fucking smart. Every time we think we are thinking ahead of them, they figure a way to attack and spread fear.

Lets get the CIA strike teams to watch out for these Hotel bombers and take them out before they blow the shit out of it.:D
 

QC

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There was an interview with an Australian security nerd here a couple of nights ago saying that Nooradin Top is a renegade and not part of JI anymore, he runs his own race much like the Real IRA.

http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/

Scroll down the page to Prof. Greg Barton.
 

Typhoon

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Noordin Mohammad Top sounds like a guy our CIA ought to be aggressively seeking out and eliminating as a player in the GWOT. He may go on to bigger things that hit closer to home for us in the future...
 

QC

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I agree with you, but I guess it's not a big enought event and not many US nats involved. The Feds here, the AFP, and their counterparts in Indo have a good working relationship and they're on it.

The only positive I can think of is the placement, the bomber didn't get far enough into the room, which is fortunate as it could have been a lot worse.
 
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