Police Question 8 in Jakarta Buddhist Temple Bombing

Indonesian police stand guard outside the Ekayana Buddhist Center in West Jakarta early Monday morning. Terrorists set off a low-grade explosive in an alleged revenge attack over anti-Muslim violence in Myanmar on Sunday. (AFP Photo/Romeo Gacad)

Indonesian police stand guard outside the Ekayana Buddhist Center in West Jakarta early Monday morning. Terrorists set off a low-grade explosive in an alleged revenge attack over anti-Muslim violence in Myanmar on Sunday. (AFP Photo/Romeo Gacad)

Security cameras at the Ekayana Buddhist Center captured footage of an unidentified man dropping off two packages containing low-grade bombs moments before Sunday night’s explosion, a head monk at the West Jakarta temple said.

The man entered the Duri Kepa temple during a crowded sermon Sunday night, placing one bomb near a shoe rack and another behind a statue of the Maitreya Buddha before leaving, Bhikku Arya Maitri Mahatera said after watching the center’s closed-circuit security camera footage.

“The young man entered the temple and acted like any other member of the congregation,” Arya said.

Moments later a low-intensity bomb exploded near the center’s doors, injuring three people in a terrorist attack reportedly stemming from anger over anti-Muslim violence in Buddhist-majority Myanmar.

“When the blast happened, people were praying and they were very calm because they just thought it was a firecracker,” Arya said.

A letter reading “We heard Rohingya’s screams,” was found inside one of the bomb packages, Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali told the Indonesian news portal Detik.com.

The police questioned eight witnesses Monday morning as Indonesian officials pushed for the swift arrest of terrorists accused of damaging “the peaceful spirit of the holy month of Ramadan.” Investigators were searching for those involved in the bombing on Monday morning, National Police chief Gen. Timur Pradopo said.

“So far we have questioned eight witnesses,” Timur explained. “They were at the scene when the bomb went off.”

A surge in anti-Muslim violence in Myanmar has inflamed tempers in Indonesia, where Islamic organizations hold protests criticizing the recently reformed country for a series of violent attacks on Rohingya Muslims. Sunday’s bombing came less than four months after police foiled a separate plot to bomb the Myanmar embassy in Jakarta.

Indonesian officials accused the terrorists of attempting to set off religious tensions between local Muslims and Buddhists.

“Indonesia has become a target of a foreign agenda,” House speaker Marzuki Alie said without elaborating any further. “The police are responsible for investigating the motive behind this attack so that such incidents will not happen again,” he added.

The temple, one of the biggest in Jakarta, said it hoped the blasts would “not cause any unrest in the religious community.”

— Agence France-Presse contributed to this report.

  • 22roles

    Pak Sby How much longer do you need to sign that UU ormas and start getting rid of foreign agenda ??

  • Rustynails

    Ah yes, the cowardice and lack of intelligence in such acts is beyond words. How creatures like this bomber manage to walk upright is nature’s joke on humanity

  • Peace

    Hell is never short of spaces, if the bombers wish to be born there its their own doing. No one hear their scream once rebirth there.

  • Legowo

    What the hel!! You attack Ahmadiyah, your own fellow Indonesian citizen yet you try to defend Ronghiya? And then you bombed an innocent Budhist temple? Wake up people!!! Wake up SBY!! Wake up surayadharma Ali!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/groups/Indonesian.Traditional.Cuisine/ AMPD

    Is this the sign that the Sun starts setting in the beloved Indonesia (NKRI)? Do the Dark Ages start hunting Indonesia?

  • Valkyrie1604

    And some of us continue endlessly to grumble about intelligence gathering by governments. Clandestine HUMINT is lacking in this country because of poor equipment.

    Freddy in Cipinang was able to unscramble jamming systems initiated by BNN. That, was done inside a high security prison. What else?

    Let’s see the ‘who’ that are often protesting the development of better systems. The crooks in Senayan? This is the place where spanners are often being thrown in the works.

  • Wonderer

    DON’T YOU DARE blaming it on some foreign agenda. There may or may not be one, but the problem is LOCAL! It is the lack of action against acts of hatred against non Sunni opinion and belief.
    Stand up, leaders, and make it totally clear: intolerance is not acceptable for real Indonesians!

  • Henrietta

    First the Muslims killed the Christians and burned their churches, then the Ahmadiyah, then the Buddhists, and next it will be the Balinese. The Muslims in Myanmar burned a Buddhist woman alive which makes normally peaceful Buddhists stand up for their rights. Buddhists are the majority in their country. In Indonesia there is no tolerance for other beliefs other than Islam. There will never be freedom of religion in Indonesia as long as one religious group thinks it can be the only true belief.

    • Peter Bean

      In Afghanistan they bombed the Bamiyan Buddha. What’s wrong with Islam which is suppose to be a religion of peace?