Jakarta - The Indonesian capital will be on level-one alert status until the threat of terrorist attacks has passed, said its police chief, Inspector-General Firman Gani. He said the police would prioritise security at embassies, diplomatic activity centres, offices, major factories, markets, supermarkets and recreational parks.
The stepped-up security measures include deploying armed guards around these establishments and conducting random search on cars.
"Obviously, high priority is being given to the embassies of such countries as Britain, France, Japan, Australia and the United States," Insp-Gen Firman was quoted as saying by Antara news agency on May 31.
"We will continue to put Jakarta under Alert I status until we are sure the terrorist threat has gone," he added.
The heightened security followed two bomb explosions at a crowded market in Tentena, a predominantly Christian town in Poso, Central Sulawesi, on May 28. At least 21 people died and 70 others were injured.
Indonesian police have now declared 15 people as suspects in the bombings. National Police Chief Gen Da`i Bachtiar said in Poso on June 2 that 13 people had been declared suspects and were been detained at a police station in Poso. Two others, known by their initials as AT and E, are still at large.
AT and E, who were involved in several previous cases of violence in Ambon and Seram in Maluku, are believed to be behind the Tentena blasts.
While some have pointed a finger at Azahari Husin, the Jemaah Islamiah’s top bomb-maker, some observers have blamed the blasts on the resurgence of sectarian strife that is simmering in parts of Indonesia.
The latest bombings have once again caused jitters among the foreign business community.
Mr Martin Hughes of the Gemela Group, a security consultancy that advises foreign businesses, said: “There is a real fear among the MNCs that extremists might target Jakarta again. Looking at the pattern and timeline of terrorist attacks in Indonesia over the past three years, who can blame these companies for being overly concerned?”
* Fifteen declared suspect in Tentena bombings (Antara, June 2)
* Police put Jakarta under Alert-One status (Bernama, June 1)
* High security alert in Jakarta after blasts (The Straits Times, May 31)