Wed, 30 Apr 2003

'I'm sure there'll be more bomb blasts

Sunday's explosion at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, which injured 11 people, was the fourth of a string of bombings that have occurred in the capital this year. Some city residents told The Jakarta Post that they were worried more bombs might explode and injure them.

Kelik, 23, is shop attendant at Blok M Plaza, South Jakarta. He lives in Kebayoran Lama, South Jakarta, with his family:

To be honest, I'm not scared about bombs, but deep down in my heart I worry a little about the possibility.

I've no idea who masterminded the incident, but there could have been a political motive. These incidents horrify the public, as the government always fails to stop them.

The fact that many officers have been deployed to tighten up security here has relieved me. They work hard to keep an eye on visitors.

However, it doesn't mean that bomb blasts won't become a reality, as it could happen here. A bomber infiltrated the National Police Headquarters and planted a bomb there earlier this year -- never mind a shopping center like this!

In fact, there are still many security loopholes in this area because some entrance points are left unguarded, which means that visitors have unhindered access to the mall. I guess those points would be attractive to perpetrators who wanted to mess up the place.

I think police officers, as usual, lack ways of stopping the series of bombings in the country here. Their performance has remained poor, despite the incidents.

I'm sure there'll be more bomb blasts, following the last incident at the international airport. I'm also pretty sure that the police will fail to detect them.

Pamungkas, 40, is a bus driver on the route between Blok M, South Jakarta, and Soekarno-Hatta International airport. He lives in Tangerang, Banten, with his wife and four children:

I worry, of course, as I drive there every day. However, the anxiety has not seriously disrupted my routine so far.

I would rather have been on alert before the last bomb blast at the airport on Sunday. I'm just afraid in case terrorists ride in my bus and leave a bomb aboard.

From now on, I'm more careful about checking whether or not there's a suspect package left by passengers. I have to make a prompt report to authorized security officers or the police if that happens.

I don't want to put my life at risk. I'm sure the series of bombings here has a political motive, even though I'm in the dark about who was behind the terrorism.

Looking at what's happened so far, you couldn't really say that our police officers anticipated the events very well, could you? The incidents are always left undetected.

I'm pretty sure that there'll be further explosions, following the blasts here. They were emboldened to do it due to lax security and took advantage of the situation to terrorize people.

Dirjo, 32, has a small business at Kampung Melayu, East Jakarta. He lives with his wife and daughter in Rawamangun, East Jakarta:

It's only human to be worried about the string of bombings in the country. I'm just scared it might happen to me when I'm in a public place in the city.

I'm pretty sure that there's a possible link between the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) and the tense situation over the peace deal. It's quite possible that they gained access to the city so as to carry out their act of terror.

They were able to obtain weapons and explosive substances easily due to the absence of thorough security inspections by the police.

I'm sure we'll suffer another bombing later this year because our police officers are easily out-maneuvered by such perpetrators. You have to admit that many times the police have failed to anticipate bomb explosions, despite their success in arresting terrorist suspects in the Bali blast.

Personally, I feel more insecure living in the country; it seems now as though there's no place safe enough to lead a peaceful life here.

-- Leo Wahyudi S