The Cirebon blast, the previous attacks on Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta and Syuhada Mosque in Yogyakarta in 1999, the simultaneous bombings of churches on New Year’s Eve in 2000, the carnage in Bali in 2002 and 2005, the hotel and embassy attacks in Jakarta in 2003, 2004 and 2009 and other acts of terror plaguing the country only underline the fact that such heinous attacks could take place anywhere.
Only recently, most-wanted 2002 Bali bomber Umar Patek was reportedly captured in Pakistan. But, as seen in the latest bombing and a hatful of attacks preceding it, the terror group has never fallen short of recruits ready to die for their cause, no matter what happened to their leaders.
Countries such as Australia have been on alert for fresh attacks in Indonesia following the arrest of Patek, which has so far remained unconfirmed by the Indonesian police. It comes as no surprise, actually, that terrorists targeted the police as happened in Cirebon on Friday, in the bank heist in Medan and the killing of two police officers in the Central Java town of Purworejo last year. Since the twin hotel bombings in Jakarta in July 2009, the police’s counterterrorism squad has stepped up its efforts to clamp down on terror networks across the country.