On 14 January 2016, multiple explosions and gunfire were reported near the Sarinah shopping mall in central Jakarta, Indonesia, at the intersection of Jalan Kyai Haji Wahid Hasyim and Jalan MH Thamrin.[1] One blast went off in a Burger King restaurant outside the mall.[1] The attack occurred near a United Nations (UN) information centre, as well as luxury hotels and foreign embassies.[2] The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) confirmed that a Dutch UN official was seriously injured in the attacks.[3] It was reported an armed stand-off took place on the fourth level of the Menara Cakrawala (Skyline Tower) on Jalan MH Thamrin.[4] At least eight people—four attackers and four civilians (three Indonesians and an Algerian-Canadian)—were killed, and 23 others were injured due to the attack. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed responsibility.[3]

2016 Jakarta attacks
Part of terrorism in Indonesia and the spillover of the Syrian civil war
2016 Jakarta attacks is located in Jakarta
2016 Jakarta attacks
Attack site shown on a map of Jakarta
LocationJakarta, Indonesia
Coordinates6°11′12.56″S 106°49′23.38″E / 6.1868222°S 106.8231611°E / -6.1868222; 106.8231611
Date14 January 2016
10:40 – 15:30 WIB (UTC+07:00)
Attack type
Suicide bombings, shootout
Deaths8 total
  • 4 civilians
  • 4 attackers
PerpetratorsIslamic State Islamic State
No. of participants
4 to 14



Though Indonesia is far from the conflicts of the Middle East, the country has experienced several attacks by Islamist militants in the past two decades that have killed hundreds.[5]

This was the first major attack in Jakarta since the 2009 Jakarta bombings, which were carried out by Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) and killed 7 plus 2 suicide bombers.[5] JI is an al-Qaeda-linked group seeking to unite Indonesia, Malaysia, and the southern Philippines under an Islamic state.[6][7] Since the 2002 Bali bombings, in which over 200 were killed, Indonesia has stepped up attempts to crack down on violent extremism. A law was enacted by the Indonesian legislature in 2003 in this regard.[vague][8]

According to a spokesman for the Indonesian National Police, the police had received information in November 2015 about a warning from ISIL that there would be an attack in Indonesia.[5][9] In 2015, it was reported by the Jakarta-based Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict that at least 50 Indonesians had joined the thousands of foreign fighters who have travelled to Syria to fight for extremist groups trying to create an Islamic state there.[10]


Armed Brimob police officers during the 2016 Jakarta attacks
Police post damaged by suicide bomb attack in front of the Sarinah mall

On 14 January 2016 at 10:40 a.m. local time, several blasts followed by gunfire were reported to have occurred in Central Jakarta, which is home to many luxury hotels, offices and embassies.[11] According to a spokesman for the Indonesian National Police, the attack involved an unknown number of assailants with grenades and guns.[5] A total of six explosions were counted by news media.[12]

The attack targeted a traffic police post at a major intersection, not far from the front doors of a Starbucks coffee shop and a Burger King franchise. The post was heavily damaged by explosions.[5] Although three explosions in Cikini, Slipi, and Kuningan neighbourhoods, near Turkish and Pakistan embassies were reported,[13] the Jakarta police later denied these explosions, as well as attacks in Simatupang and Palmerah, as a hoax.[14] One explosion went off in front of a shopping centre called the Sarinah mall, near the UN office.[11]

Footage later emerged purportedly showing two attackers huddling together outside the Burger King outlet when one of their suicide bombs was activated and they were blown up.[15][16]

A series of pictures showed two gunmen opening fire against a crowd which gathered on Jalan M.H. Thamrin around a police post damaged by the bombings. The first gunman appears to shoot at two police officers, and the crowd disperses. The second gunman then shoots another policeman at close range. A police spokesman said the first gunman then took two hostages, a Dutchman and an Algerian, in the Skyline building car park, and both gunmen were later shot dead by police.[17][18]



According to Jakarta police, an ISIL-linked Indonesian extremist, Bahrun Naim, was the mastermind behind the attack. Naim, thought to be a native of Pekalongan city in Central Java, relocated to Raqqa, Syria sometime before the attacks; he has been known to authorities since at least 2010.[19][20] Naim appeared to maintain a blog in which he praises terrorist attacks, including the November 2015 Paris attacks, and calls on Indonesians to carry out such attacks in the archipelago.[20][21] Naim was arrested in November 2010 at his home in Solo, Indonesia on suspicion of terrorism connections and was convicted in June 2011 on weapons charges, with the court finding insufficient evidence to convict him of terrorism.[20]

An Indonesian national police official said three men had been detained in the investigation into a four-hour siege in the nation's capital Thursday that left seven people dead.[22]

Police were able to name one of the attackers, the subject of a widely shared image that became the face of the attack, Afif Sunakim, who was seen carrying a gun and rucksack during the attacks. He was earlier sentenced to seven years for attending a militant camp.[23]

Four attackers died during the attack. The two attackers who died in a suicide bombing were identified as Dian Juni Kurniadi and Ahmad Muhazab Saron, both aged 26. Two attackers who died in a shootout with police were named: firstly Afif, a.k.a. Sunakim a.k.a. Sunardi (age unknown), and secondly Marwan, a.k.a. Muhammad Ali (aged 40).[24][25]

Individuals in Malaysia may have been connected.[26]



A total of twenty people were injured, including five police officers and an Algerian, who escaped from Burger King. The Dutch embassy also confirmed that one of its nationals was seriously injured and being treated at a hospital.[27] According to The New Paper, authorities had noted that some of the casualties were injured or killed while taking selfies.[28]

Of the four civilian casualties, three died on the day of the attack: Taher Amer-Ouali, 70, an Algerian-Canadian hearing care specialist visiting family in Indonesia when he was shot;[29][30][31] Rico Hermawan, 20 or 21, an Indonesian summoned for a traffic offence when a bomb exploded at the police post;[25][32] Sugito, 43, an Indonesian courier who was originally labelled as being an attacker due to him sharing a name with a suspected terrorist.[25][33][34] Rais Karna, 37, an Indonesian working at Jakarta branch of Bangkok Bank as an office boy[35], was the fourth civilian casualty, dying in hospital two days after the attack from head bullet wounds.[36][33]



Two days after the attack, Indonesian security forces arrested twelve people linked with the men. The twelve arrested were accused of plotting further attacks against Indonesian government, police and foreign targets in connection with the attackers who were shot dead in the attack.[37]

A counterterrorism movie based on the attacks, titled 22 Minutes, is released to tell the 22 minutes of the attack.[38]




Condolence flowers in front of Sarinah mall. The text says: "Condolences for Sarinah victims, We are Not Afraid, from DPN Seknas Jokowi".

President Joko Widodo called the attacks "acts of terror" in a televised statement. In his statement, he said "Our nation and our people should not be afraid. We will not be defeated by these acts of terror. I hope the public stays calm. We all are grieving for the fallen victims of this incident, but we also condemn the act that has disturbed the security and peace and spread terror among our people."[39]

Residents of Jakarta, and across Indonesia took his statement "We are not afraid" to social media with the hashtag #KamiTidakTakut, which was widely used on Twitter in posts offering condolences to the victims or for expressing defiance.[3]

Starbucks issued a press statement condemning the attack.[3] They also stated that they would close all their Jakarta branches "until further notice."[40] However, Starbucks later re-opened all locations in Indonesia except for the store where the attacks took place.[41]



See also



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