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Most Tragic Acts of Terrorism in History – 2002 Bali Bombings: Indonesia

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Most Tragic Acts of Terrorism in History – 2002 Bali Bombings: Indonesia

The 2002 Bali bombings occurred on October 12, 2002 in the tourist district of Kuta on the Island of Bali, Indonesia. The attack was the deadliest act of terrorism in the country’s history, killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens.

A further 209 people were injured. The attack involved the detonation of three bombs: a backpack-mounted device carried by a suicide bomber; a large car bomb, both of which were detonated in or near popular nightclubs in Kuta; and a third much smaller device detonated outside the United States consulate in Denpansar, causing only minor damage. Jemaah Islamiyah, a violent Islamist group, was responsible for the said attack. Many of their members were convicted and were sentence to death.

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ANALYSTS VIEWS – Jakarta hotel bomb blasts

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ANALYSTS VIEWS – Jakarta hotel bomb blasts

REUTERS – Near-simultaneous bomb blasts ripped through the JW Marriott and the Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta’s business district on Friday, killing nine people and injuring 42 including foreigners and Indonesians, police said.

A car bomb had also exploded along a toll road in north Jakarta, police said. Indonesia’s Metro TV said two people had been killed. No further details on that blast were available.

The bomb attacks, the first in several years, could severely dent investor confidence in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy. The Indonesian government had made considerable progress in tackling security threats from militant Islamists in recent years, bringing a sense of greater political stability.

Islamist militants from the regional Jemaah Islamiah organisation were blamed for numerous attacks between 2002-2005 in Indonesia, including bombings on the island of Bali in 2002 that killed 202 people. Many militants have since been arrested.

CALLUM HENDERSON, CHIEF GLOBAL CURRENCY STRATEGIST, STANDARD CHARTERED BANK, SINGAPORE

“This is a tragic event. Market reaction to date has been relatively muted in anticipation that the government will stay on course and that policies will remain unchanged.

“Indonesia remains a fundamentally good story, thanks in large part to the excellent policies of the government in the last few years.

“It will take time to stabilise again, but we remain overweight on the rupiah.”

SEAN CALLOW, CURRENCY STRATEGIST, WESTPAC, SYDNEY

“I would say it damages foreign investor confidence since the attacks appear aimed at Westerners, but not shatter it, so long as there is no further violence for some time.

“Bank Indonesia should be able to keep a lid on dollar/rupiah short term, but it will have a lasting negative impact multi-week, multi-month.

“It solidifies my short-term bias towards buying dollar/rupiah on dips, especially since the rupiah is still up 18 percent since March.”

TIM CONDON, HEAD OF ASIA RESEARCH, ING, SINGAPORE

“I liken it to North Korea risks to South Korean assets. Typically it causes a short spike in selling pressure — but the operative word is short.

“Indonesia is vulnerable and the attacks are negative but people know these are impossible to predict and they are part of the economic landscape. It doesn’t totally eclipse all of the other investor positives — the economic fundamentals and the political fundamentals.

“The cost of protecting debt from Indonesia , one of the most frequent Asian sovereign issuers in the offshore market, was unchanged at 280/295 basis points.”

RAYMOND TANG, CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER, CIMB ASSET MANAGEMENT, KUALA LUMPUR

“We are still positive on the economy and the developments there, despite the bombings. On a long-term perspective, we have not changed our view.

“We’re positive on the banking, the resources and the consumer sectors.

“You’ll get kneejerk reaction but if you look at how the Indonesian market has responded up to now, it’s down 1.3 percent and the currency is down half a percent … I think people are more positive than negative.”

KEVIN O’ROURKE, POLITICAL RISK ANALYST, REFORMASI WEEKLY

“I think the attacks are devastating for the image of security that Indonesia has built up painstakingly over the past four years.

“The attack is particularly severe for investor confidence because it took place despite strenuous counter-terrorist efforts by the government and has affected the hotels that are seen to be among the most secure in Jakarta and also either killed or wounded numerous prominent expatriate businesspeople.” O’Rourke said he suspected Jemaah Islamiah was responsible.

“It’s an explosion in a hotel. Jemaah Islamiah perpetrate explosions in hotels.”

WAWAN PURWANTO, ANALYST AT NGO NATIONAL EMPOWERMENT BOARD, JAKARTA “It is a high-tension period and it is likely to remain like that until October when the president is inaugurated.

“We already predicted this as we have seen some unknown movements after the election, like the incidents in Papua. So if something like this happens, it’s not a surprise.

“We will not make any assumption (as to who is behind the attacks) before seeing hard evidence.”

PRAKRITI SOFAT, ECONOMIST AT HSBC, SINGAPORE

“After the elections going off so peacefully, the bomb blasts have come as a shock. We don’t have all the details now but investors will be keeping a close eye on this one.”

JOANNA TAN, ECONOMIST, FORECAST PTE, SINGAPORE “I think investor confidence will definitely be shaken after this but ultimately, the positives from SBY continuing a second term and relatively good performance in the economy should keep investor confidence supported.”

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DNA shows body of slain militant not Noordin Muhammad Top

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DNA shows body of slain militant not Noordin Muhammad Top

JAKARTA, Indonesia – A suspected militant slain during a 16-hour siege with counterterrorism forces last week was not Indonesia‘s most-wanted militant Noordin Muhammad Top, police said Wednesday.

Tests comparing the body’s DNA with members of Noordin’s family came back negative, said Eddy Saparwoko, head of the national police victim identification unit.

Noordin, a Malaysian, has been blamed for a series of deadly al-Qaida-funded attacks in Indonesia since 2003 and is the prime suspect in twin suicide hotel bombings in Jakarta on July 17 that killed seven people.

Last month’s attacks ended a four-year lull in terrorism in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation. Bombings have killed more than 250 people in Indonesia since 2002, most of them on the resort island of Bali, where a 2002 attack killed 202 people.

“The DNA test didn’t match with Noordin’s family,” Saparwoko told a nationally televised press conference Wednesday.

Local media had reported that Noordin, a self-proclaimed al-Qaida commander who has eluded capture in Indonesian and Malaysia since 2001, was slain in a gunbattle with security forces.

But Saparwoko said the man who died in the shootout at a farmhouse in central Java on Saturday was a florist, identified only as Ibrohim. He made floral arrangements at the J.W. Marriott Hotel and Ritz-Carlton, where suicide bombers attacked last month during breakfast, killing themselves and wounding more than 50 others.

Chief national police spokesman Nanan Sukarna identified Ibrohim as “a planner and arranger of the bombings” and said that five other suspects in the blasts remain at large, including Noordin.

Ibrohim, who worked in the hotels at least two years prior to the July bombings, began scouting the targets three months in advance and smuggled explosives in through a basement cargo dock a day before the strikes, Nanan said, showing newly-released security camera footage.

The grainy images show a lone man driving a small pickup truck into the J.W. Marriott Hotel and unloading what police said were three containers of explosives, apparently after skirting all security checks.

The video also showed Ibrohim leading the suicide bombers, one of them an 18-year-old high school graduate, through the hotels on July 8, apparently in a rehearsal for the attacks plotted from two rented safe houses on the outskirts of the capital, Jakarta.

“We know him. He worked as a third-party florist,” said Allan Orlob, head of security for the U.S.-owned J.W. Marriott and Ritz-Carlton 5-star hotels.

Ibrohim resigned the morning of the bombings, Orlob told The Associated Press on Wednesday, and left only a letter to his employer in which he asked that part of his last pay check be used to repay several people who loaned him money.

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