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Jakarta Post

Act of terrorism may be behind ATM explosion

  • Wahyoe Boediwardhana

    The Jakarta Post

Surabaya   /   Fri, January 10, 2014   /  08:26 am

A bomb blast occurred at a Bank Mandiri automatic teller machine (ATM) in Malang, East Java, on Thursday with police and an analyst saying the explosion was likely an act of terrorism.

Based on preliminary investigations at the scene, the blast, which occurred in front of the Pak Saleh Restaurant on Jl. Raya Kertanegara, in Karang Ploso district, Malang regency, at 2:15 a.m., is believed to have originated from a low-explosive bomb.

The glass panes of the ATM booth were damaged by the explosion, and the concrete wall of the booth collapsed.

Despite that, the safe and money inside the ATM remained intact.

'€œThe safe remains intact, with only its casing damaged. I also noticed the air-conditioning unit of the ATM was disconnected from the wall although the ATM remains intact,'€ said East Java Police chief spokesman Sr. Comr. Awi Setiyono.

He added that a CCTV unit inside the ATM booth had also detached from the ceiling.

East Java Police deputy chief Brig. Gen. Suprodjo WS, who also inspected the scene, told reporters that officers from the Surabaya Police Forensics Laboratory and bomb squad found a casing plate measuring 10 by 15 by 25 cm.

'€œWe found iron pieces measuring between 10 mm and 12 mm thick and between 3 and 5 cm long at the location. They are believed to have been placed inside the container,'€ said Suprodjo.

'€œWe have also seized two CCTV recordings for analysis, from the ATM and a nearby convenience store,'€ added Suprodjo.

He said police were currently interviewing four eyewitnesses. He added that the perpetrators were most likely carrying out terrorism and had been able to create public anxiety.

Police speculated the incident might be related to the legislative election to be held in April this year.

Separately, Surabaya'€™s Airlangga University political observer and Socio-Political Science School lecturer, Hariyadi, said the incident was not related to the election process.

He speculated that the incident was more closely related to terrorism because the perpetrators were in need of funds for their activities, and one of their methods of obtaining funds was through theft and robbery.

'€œThe act might be directed at terrorism, but we will wait for the police investigation,'€ said Hariyadi.

According to Hariyadi, East Java has long been a terrorism target, but police have always been able to thwart it.

'€œThe incident is part of a long-term strategy by a terror network,'€ said Hariyadi.

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