The Jakarta Post
The National Police have pushed aside speculation that a suicide bomb attack at the Surakarta Police headquarters on Tuesday morning had targeted President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.
National Police chief Badrodin Haiti said terrorist suspects usually targeted police officers and assets such as security posts, police stations and patrol vehicles.
“The target of terrorists in Tuesday’s attack was similar to what was targeted by previous perpetrators, namely police officers, police offices, police vehicles, security posts and many more,” Badrodin told journalists at the Surakarta Police headquarters on Tuesday.
The police chief confirmed that President Jokowi was scheduled to celebrate Idul Fitri with his family in Surakarta after a working visit to Padang, West Sumatra. He said the suicide bomb at the Surakarta Police office on Tuesday morning had nothing to do with the President’s plans.
“Still, we will beef up security for the President, including when he returns to his hometown on Wednesday to celebrate Idul Fitri,” said Badrodin.
Surakarta Mayor FX Hadi “Rudy” Rudyatmo confirmed that President Jokowi’s plan to return to his hometown would not be canceled. Rudy guaranteed that Surakarta would be safe and people’s activities would not be disrupted by the bombing.
“The President is set to return home to Surakarta after he completes his working visit to Padang. It is likely he will come on Wednesday, instead of Thursday as previously scheduled. Pak Jokowi will still go home,” said Rudy.
Following the suicide bomb attack, Indonesian Air Force personnel beefed up security at Adi Soemarmo International Airport on Tuesday. Dozens of security personnel, including from the Air Force, have been deployed to stand guard at the airport’s entranceway. They are thoroughly inspecting every vehicle that enters the airport.
The general manager of state-owned airport operator PT Angkasa Pura I, Abdullah Usman, said the strengthening of security was actually part of precautions for Idul Fitri. However, security had tightened following the bomb attack on Tuesday morning. “This is aimed at not only securing Idul Fitri but also anticipating terrorism,” said Usman. (ebf)
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