Tragedy in Jakarta

My heart goes out to the people of Australia, who are suffering from a tragic terrorist attack against their embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia that killed nine people and wounded more than 180 yesterday.

The blast was the work of one of the most active Islamist terror groups in the world, Jemaah Islamiyah. Among JI’s other atrocities are the 2002 Bali nightclub bombing that killed 202 people, and the 2003 bombing of the J.W. Marriott hotel in Jakarta that claimed another 12 lives.

JI was also the group that notorious terrorist Hambali called home. Hambali was an associate of Osama bin Laden before his capture in 2003.

This terrible attack adds another stain to the already sordid history of JI. The people of Australia deserve some room in our thoughts and prayers today.



September 10, 2004
1:47 pm

Also spare a place for the Indonesians, who are likely the majority of the victims. It always is a wonder that more Muslims don’t notice the number of Muslims who die in attacks like this and the Al Qaeda attack against US embassies in Africa. You’d think they’d at least call for the Islamicists to change their tactics.

Jason Lefkowitz

September 10, 2004
1:58 pm

Absolutely — how thoughtless of me to forget to mention them! That’s what I get for posting first thing in the morning.
The local population generally does end up taking these things more directly than the “targets” do… witness the bombings of our embassies in East Africa, as you mention, which killed hardly any Americans, but many local civilians.
Of course, one of the things I’m learning from reading the 9/11 Commission report (more on that soon) is that the new terrorism doesn’t really care about the casualty counts. It’s much more about the symbolism of the target than it is about how many bodies you leave behind. So to them it doesn’t particularly matter if you don’t kill any Americans when you blow up a U.S. Embassy.