As Indonesians struggle to come to terms with Friday’s deadly hotel bombings, the country’s President has visited the scene of the suicide attacks.
They are a severe blow for Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who won a landslide re-election victory this month on the back of strong growth in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy. For while security has been reinforced after the blasts at the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels, potential visitors to Jakarta may still be discouraged from coming. Analyst Sunny Tanuwijaya said: “The fact that this happened on this scale in a place where security is very tight shows that there are some holes in our security and I think that the security again, the intelligence community, the police force, still have a lot to learn about this issue.” With foreigners accounting for many of the casualties on what has been dubbed “Black Friday”, it is still unclear whether eight or nine people were killed. Dozens were injured. Malaysian extremist Noordin Mohamed Top, thought to lead a splinter faction of the Islamist militant group Jemaah Islamiah, is suspected of being the mastermind behind the blasts.