TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - January 14 marks one of the bleak moments in Jakarta’s history as four years ago in 2016, the city’s business district in Central Jakarta, M.H. Thamrin street turned into an urban standoff between a terrorist group and law enforcers. The sequence of terror attacks is now known as the Sarinah bombing or Thamrin bombing as numerous explosives were detonated by the terrorists.
The First of many Bomb Explosions
On January 14, 2016, at around 10:30 WIB, the first bomb blasted the Starbucks outlet at the area’s Cakrawala Building after seven suspicious people entered the cafe. German national Frank Feulner testified at the time about the people’s sinister intentions; “Their faces were very serious.”
Just after the seven people exited the cafe, a bomb exploded on the right side of the cafe which was followed 20 minutes after with a bomb that exploded at a police post across the cafe that killed three terrorists and injured one police personnel.
The blast near the police post immediately gathered a group of onlookers, that formed a large crowd near the post. However, what everyone did not notice is the fact that one of the terrorists, Afif, who wore black tops and jeans opened fire from behind the group of people. One bystander was injured by this.
Afif continued his shooting spree towards police forces that gathered at the site. He then shot one police personnel right in the abdomen before joining his accomplices already gathered at the Starbucks parking lot. During the standoff, the terrorists managed to retaliate with a couple of grenades.
Just 20-minutes after, the bomb carried by a terrorist exploded and killed the suspects. The death toll from this incident according to the official police report comprises five terrorists and two civilians, with one of them being a Canadian national. Dozens of bystanders and police personnel were also injured due to the urban terrorist attack.
Aman Abdurrahman, the mastermind of the Thamrin attack
The known member of the terror group Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) Aman Abdurrahman who had been under police custody since 2003 had been deemed the mastermind behind the Thamrin bombing. In court, Aman was also blamed for another terrorist attack in Kampung Melayu, East Jakarta; Samarinda Church bombing in East Kalimantan; North Sumatra Police headquarters attack; and an attack on police personnel in Bima, West Nusa Tenggara.
Aman Abdurrahman was handed the death penalty by the South Jakarta District Court on June 22, 2018, after he was found guilty of numerous nation-wide terror attacks.
Each year, the Sarinah bombings, or Thamrin bombings, is commemorated by a community consisting of survivors of the terrorist attack dubbed “Sahabat Thamrin.” The community constantly promotes the awareness to respect diversity.
ADAM PRIREZA | KORAN TEMPO | MAJALAH TEMPO | TEMPO.CO