Jakarta Police on High Alert as Jokowi Decides to Celebrate Idul Fitri in the Capital

Jakarta Police have beefed up security in the nation's capital on Sunday (24/06) fearing a terrorist attack could spoil Idul Fitri celebrations in the city. (Antara Photo/Adeng Bustomi)

By : Bayu Marhaenjati | on 12:47 PM June 25, 2017
Category : News, Security

Jakarta. Jakarta Police have beefed up security in the nation's capital on Sunday (24/06) fearing a terrorist attack could spoil Idul Fitri celebrations in the city.

Metro Jaya traffic police deputy chief Brig. Gen Suntana said officers have been placed at major access points across the city after banning prayer convoys from entering Jakarta on Saturday night.

Those convoys, known locally as takbiran, typically ride along Jakarta streets and blast Islamic prayers from megaphones attached to the vehicle's top. Parades usually accompany the vehicles on the Idul Fitri's eve.

"Metro Jaya police will seal the border with Depok, Bekasi and Tangerang. [Takbiran] convoys who come across the border will be told to return," Suntana said.

The general said the convoys have the potential to disturb public order and worsen traffic congestion in the city on the start of Idul Fitri, which marks the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

A special police bomb squad will also patrol the Istiqlal Mosque in Central Jakarta, the largest Islamic prayer house in Southeast Asia, and check the complex for any explosive devices that may be hidden within in it, Suntana said.

The heightened security measures come after President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo decided to stay in the capital to celebrate Idul Fitri instead of traveling to his hometown of Solo, the Cabinet Secretariat said on Saturday.

Police across the country have made 40 arrests related to the twin suicide bombing attack at the Kampung Melayu bus station in East Jakarta last month that killed three police officers.

"We hope that people do not hold takbiran tonight [...] because it could be used to launch a terror attack," Suntana said.

National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian said earlier that police would be on high alert during this year's Idul Fitri to ward off any attacks by militant groups, including Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD).

JAD, which earlier pledged allegiance to Islamic State, launched an attack in Central Jakarta on Jan. 14 last year. IS also claimed responsibility for Kampung Melayu attack.

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