A planned car bomb attack on the Danish embassy in Jakarta was foiled after a terrorist cell was unravelled last week, say Indonesian police. The intended violence is believed to have been in response to cartoon drawings of the Prophet Muhammad that were published in a Danish newspaper.
The 12 editorial cartoons, which contained satirical images of the holy Islamic prophet, were first printed in the Jyllands-Posten newspaper in 2005. This led to protests across the Muslim world, many of which escalated into violence.
At least 100 deaths have been recorded as a result of protests, and Danish embassies in Iran, Lebanon and Syria have been set alight. European buildings were also stormed, and the flags of countries that reprinted the pictures have been publicly burnt at rallies.
An elite unit of the Indonesian police apprehended the terrorist cell last week, detaining, among others, the country’s most wanted man, Abdullah Sunata, 32. He is now back behind bars for the second time after being released from prison last year.
Sunata served just three years of a seven-year sentence for sheltering the mastermind of the car-bombing of the Australian embassy in 2004, reports the Jakata Globe. At least 150 people were injured in the attack and 10 were killed.
The news of the detention of the group has prompted calls that the de-radicalisation programme put in place by the Indonesian government has failed. It has also raised fears that the country’s prisons are becoming terrorism schools, reports Politiken.