Conflict & Justice

Mosque bombing in Indonesia targets police


A police sniper secures the Jakarta court as Indonesian firebrand cleric Abu Bakar Bashir faces trial on March 21, 2011.



A suicide bomber has badly wounded 28 in an Indonesian mosque frequented by cops. This the Muslim-majority archipelago's first major terror attack in about two years.

The attack in West Java is a game changer because, as the AP notes in their report, Indonesian terrorists typically steer clear of bombing mosques.

It's also looking like a rather unsubtle message to police, who have recently racked up a number of heavily publicized arrests of radicals. More than 300 people have been nabbed recently in a recent offensive against suspected terrorists.

This may be their payback attack. An analyst tells BBC that extremists may be shifting away from foreign tourist hotspots -- a favored target since the deadly 2002 night club bombings on the island of Bali -- and towards symbols of state power. Indonesia's last terrorist attacks in 2009 involved bombings of glitzy Jakarta hotels.

How did the attack go down? News reports seem to agree that the bomber hid an explosive belt beneath his robes, shouted "God is great" in Arabic and detonated, killing himself

Though AFP/Getty Images, cell phone images of the attack have already leaked out. The first shows a police officer receiving treatment and the second, according to the agencies, shows the suspected attack dead on the mosque floor. They're posted below the jump and -- warning -- they're rather gory.