Our Flemish correspondent VH sends this interesting update about this morning’s terrorist attacks in Jakarta. First, some introductory remarks by VH:
This is peculiar. The recently re-elected President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono gave a press conference today and appeared top be really quite mad.
There are rumors there is a complot set-up against him with the aim of preventing the inauguration in September of this year from happening. He in an aside suggested this tragedy might have something to do with this.
Furthermore, an expat eyewitness explained that the Ritz is the most secure and well-protected hotel in Indonesia, and couldn’t understand how this could ever possibly have happened. As became clear later on, the terrorist(s) didn’t walk in the building this morning: they already were in there, staying on the 18th floor.
And from ANTARA News:
Yudhoyono says terrorists targeted him
Jakarta (ANTARA News) — President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) said he had been a target of a terrorist group since the legislative elections in April 2009 [which he won -VH].
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He said intelligence agents had obtained proof he was targeted in the form of pictures showing members of a terrorist group practicing their marksmanship on his photo.
The President made the statement at a press conference here on Friday following bomb explosions at the JW Marriott and Ritz Carlton hotels Friday morning. “It’s intelligence information, not gossip nor rumors,” the President said while showing the pictures of terrorists in black masks doing shooting exercises with his picture as the target.
However, he said the intelligence reports did not provide any clues about a possible link between Friday’s explosions at the five-star hotels and the result of the general elections or him personally.
Concerning the 2009 elections, he said the intelligence service had collected information that there would be violence to reject the result of the 2009 elections. “There was a plan to occupy the General Elections Commission (KPU) during the announcement of the results of the ballot counting. There was also a statement saying there would be ‘revolution’ if SBY won, ‘we will turn Indonesia into another Iran, and lastly there was a statement saying that SBY should not be reinaugurated (as president),” he said [because a rumor emerged this afternoon suspecting his opponent in the recent elections, Prabowo Subianto of being involved in this, the latter made a statement early evening saying he has nothing to do with it. —VH].
The president strongly condemned the explosions which killed nine people. He said the blasts were an act of terrorism. “The act of terrorism was believed to have been carried out by a terrorist group, although it might not be a network that we already know about,” he said.
The head of state was confident that the security agencies would be able to capture and punish the bombers. Yudhoyono pledged that as the head of government he would instruct law enforcers to take stern actions and order all police, military and intelligence personnel and regional chiefs to step up alertness.
Nine people were killed and 52 others injured in the twin bombings on the Ritz Carlton and JW Marriott hotels in the upscale Mega Kuningan district of Jakarta.