a series of explosions in the end niche an capital. at least seven people are killed. >> did you hear any explosions? >> yes, i heard them. >> how many times in. >> three times. >> video emerges of what appears to be one of the gunmen involved in the attack. and two may be still on the run. the indonesian president cuts a trip to java short to return home and orders police to find those behind the attacks. ♪ ♪ hello. you are watching al jazeera live from doug doha. you are with continuing coverage
of the events. the bomb blast in the indonesian capital jakarta. >> reporter: let's go over what we know so far. there have been six explosion million dollars the central business district in the indonesian capital near the presidential palace and u.n. offices. at least seven people have been killed, including the four attackers. two attackers are said to be still on the run. a grenade was also thrown at a police station. the situation is ongoing. security forces are at the scene. and there is an exchange of gunfire. there is no indication of who is behind the attacks. which we have details and the latest. >> reporter: the explosions tore through jakarta's downtown area, at least six separate explosions and then gunfire. a multi-pronged attack, close to the office of the united nations. >> as you can see in the video there are bodies, three bodies at least.
and you can also see that one of the bodies is clearly the perpetrator because it exploded by himself and the other is being shot at. last year right after the attack in other countries, we have a lot of warning from our police and our security office that there is probably a planned attack. >> reporter: indonesian television has released these pictures of a man they say is a suspect. he's carrying a gun. one bomb is known to have gone off near a starbucks cafe. and a police post was destroyed in one of the blasts. the attacks were concentrated around thamrin street a busy thoroughfare in central jakarta which is close to the u.n. offices and the presidential palace. the traffic and people had which normally clog these streets are gone. replaced with heavily-armed security forces including armored vehicles which have been
deployed across the city. indonesia has been conducting operation to his crack down on people with suspected links to islamic state. indonesia's president has cut short a visit to singapore to oversee the operation. richard martin, al jazeera. let's take i live now for the heart of the story. step vaessen is in jakarta for us this hour. step walk us through what we think happened here. >> reporter: yes, so far what we know is that six attackers enlargedly on motor bikes came in to the central heart of jakarta. the business district here in jakarta. on the motorcycle bikes they were carrying long rifles and started shooting. one of them shot directly at a police officer at a small police post at the i want since here at thamrin street. further they started shooting around. they were shooting at bystanders, but also there has been explosions, six explosions,
witnesses have calculated them all coming one minute after the other. and there was a starbucks cafe where all the windows were blown out. it's not clear at this stage where the explosives were. but witnesses are also saying that there is a lot of nails on the street there. so that shows that there was explosives being used with nails inside. so the police any stage is now still chasing two attackers. four of them have already been shot at during a gun fight that the police had just shortly after the explosion i have went off. so the death toll is still now seven. so there are three civilians and four attackers. there is also several wounded. and there is a couple of foreigners also involved, one of them is a touch man who works for the united nations. >> the use of nail bombs, step think that's particularly nasty. so whoever this is they wanted to cause maximum death, maximum
destruction. >> reporter: absolutely. and this is something that we haven't had here in jakarta for a long time. although there were a lot of alertness, police was on alert because there were threats. there have been intelligence information that the police got that there were attacks coming up in i want niche arc very in. they thought it was going to happen in december around new year's eve that's why police had arrested dozens in java. people were arrested they con if i skated all kind of ammunition and guns and explosives. but this kind of attack on motor bikes with long rifles, shooting at people there is the very first time in indonesia that has happened before we always had explosives, big explosions the last one in 2009 in the marriott hotel and the ritz carlton hotel here also in jakarta and several
people died there. but since then the attacks were smaller. still regular but a lot smaller because police especially the anti-terror police managed to significantly weaken this movement. and put a lot of them, hundreds of them in jail and lots of them were also killed. but it was very clear in the recent years that the police was their main target. there were a few attacks already. specifically targeted at police. and recently also the police chief was telling us that there were very worried about upcoming attacks and against police. so what we have seen today might be an example of exactly that what they were so worried about. >> when we talk about a group or groups, step, just to be clear, there has been no claim of responsibility as yet. so it's a little bit like the events in us stan bull three days ago. the government, the security forces, might name an
organization but, of course, earn might be thinking about isil here, but we have had no claim here of responsibility. >> reporter: no. the only thing that we heard is that police got information that isil was planning a big thing in indonesia to put focus, international focus on i understand near arc but again there has not been a claim for responsibility at all. what we know is there are hundreds of people indonesia who went to join isil in syria over the last couple of years and also most recently. still people living to go there and also a couple of hundred have returned and they have been really closely watched by police they are actually really getting intelligent information about these people all the time so the police thought they were really on top of everything they were planning to do. but, of course, this is a very big country. and it has a lot of islands and ways to escape. the police also thought that they wouldn't have the capacity
to commit a large scale attack. that's also what we told me just yerecently in that sense i think they were very wrong. >> when you tell us that the security forces were already monitoring and employing, if you will, that status of high a earth had, i am assuming here that was as a result of intelligence gathering and intelligence sharing on their part? >> reporter: sally. they had the information that they said something would happen in december, more specifically new year's eve. they thought there would be a big scale attack happening that time. that's why they were closely mon omonitoring a lot of informatio. they couldn't really do anything to prevent this attacks because the laws in indonesia don't go far enough, according to the police.
they can't really did he tape people who haven't actually done much yet. so that's something the authorities have been discussing most recently and parliament is currently discussing laws to be more strict to be able to prevent attacks based on intelligence information. >> take us through the key fact one more time again, step, for anyone just joining us on al jazeera. we are looking at the pictures. one sequence shows a plume of smoke it looks like somebody manage go ahead to film i assume on a smart phone, there we go we are looking at it now. the actual moment of detonation. what is the area like? >> reporter: yes, that explosion that you just saw is right at this intersection, right in front of the starbucks cafe, which is a very busy cafe every morning a lot of people who go to their offices all around this area they go there to gray be some coffee.
that's exactly where that happened. you have to understand this is like the very, very heart of jakarta. there is also the minute industries are based here. the palace is based here. all the big companies have their main offices here. right in this area. there is a united nations office righright across the street as . and there was a little police post right in the middle of all of this. basically just arranging traffic but also keeping an eye and that police post is manned by two, three policemen every day. and that exactly where these attackers went for, they went straight for the police post and started shooting at a police officer right there. >> several of the attackers lost their lives as well. did any of the attackers manage to escape? and one a newspapers are assumes now, there is a very, very aggressive campaign on the part of the police and the security forces to track these people, to identify them, to also find out who they were talking to?
inevitably in this situation, the police go to social media. they go to twitter, facebook, they throug try to work out the traction, the footprints these people have left behind. >> reporter: yes. exactly. they are still looking for two team as far as we know that imagined to escape from the attacks this morning. the other four that were involved apparently died. and they died ver during this gn fight but what i am hearing from the attackers -- we don't know how many people are backing up these attackers that they are usual using social media to inform but also miss inform people here in indonesia about what's going on. they are trying are basically trying to convince people that indonesia is in a state of war right now. we have to be really careful also lacking at the social media who is involved in putting a these messages through about the current situation, the real facts that are happening right now here in jakarta.
>> step, you'll keep us right up to speedy know. but in the peen time we'll talk to you in the coming hours i guess but in the meantime thank you ver so much. judith is a political risk analyst. joining us now from singapore. judith, your reaction to the events in jakarta? >> it is extremely surprising that an attack like this has happened, particularly given the level of vigilance and warnings put out in december by the indonesian security forces given that they appear to have been mon organize the situation it's surprise thasurprising that an f this scale has taken place specifically the so 5 50 indication of how coordinated the attacks have been. >> pry do you say it's surprising inasmuch as if the security forces were react to their intelligent gathering? the information that they had on the table, why is it surprise that go somebody managed to carry this off? >> well, the indonesian an security forces have actually
been very good over the last few years in keeping vigilant and keeping attacks almost nonexistence in jakarta. the last time an attack like this took place was in 2009 at the ritz carlton and marian bombings. >> not wish to go put boards words in to your mouth, we have no claim of responsibility. in that sense it's the same as istanbul earlier this week. if you had to name the organization that you thought would claim responsibility for this, who might it be? >> i am going to refrain from speculating at this point because the tack is still ongoing. that said, there are several plausible suspects. notably the affiliated groups with the islamic state. such as the [ inaudible ] are although they are not be bubble to mound a successful attack in a major city since their form
also. there are also equally viable candidates in a regrouped [ inaudible ] or its affiliate, such as the j.a. it. or j.a. s. and other groupings like such. >> out of those groups you are talking about. which one is the most vicious? because we are talking about nail bombs and/or has an ability to coordinate such a well coordinated attack? >> the jihaddist note works in indonesia are extension i the j.i. and its a fai affiliates he been around for the last 30 year old or soy. they may have the capacity to pull this off. alternatively. the access to weapons and particular targeting path ends may suggest also groups who
affiliate themselves with the islamic state. but it's still so up in the air it's hard to say. >> he have we have seep a revolving door between allegiances and alliances between different groups in different parts of the world. is your feeling we are talking about one group or one group working with another group? >> i wouldn't be able to say given the posity of the intelligence at this point. >> it's a desire to their part to go for what is a busy and yet a very soft target as well? it happened at will hav lunchtil time. people were doing their things in, coffee shops, restaurants, taking a break from the office. >> yes. so this is a departure from the general targeting patterns in indonesia over the past at the point years or so. the majority, the vast majority of attacks as well as threats have been aimed squarely at
indonesian security at this forces particularly the counter terrorism agency. so the targeting of the civilians and western branch such as starbucks, that is a shift, i suppose, back to the heyday of the early 2000s. >> judith jacob, hav thank you y much. the indonesian president has condemned at at. he's also ordered his security force to his capture those involved. and coffer the his deepest con doles from the victims and their families. in a statement the press said we could nope are not be afraid and defeated by this. greg feely is from the australian national university. good to have you here on al jazeera, mr. feely. what is your reading of the events still ongoing still unfolding in en indonesia.
>> one of the things about this which makes it a bit different from some of the preceding attacks was the fact that there were multiple targets and those targets i think were attempting -- the targeting was aiming to address a number of audience says, one of them was most obviously as your previous speaker said the police themselves. not just the count or terrorism police but in fact several dozen police have been victims. although the main -- the group that is most octobered to by the i didn't ahead assists are the counter terrorism police they have cut down have been ordinary police officers. in addition to the police there have been this series of attacks is also aimed i think at instilling a sense of fear in the ex-pat community. using department stores such as
serena and coffee shops such as starbucks, it's also an upper middle class area for upper middle class jakartans and we have international agencies. there has been much talk of the u.n. office that is opposite the police post that was attacked. but just a couple of buildings down the road is the home to a great many international agencies, other international agencies as well. so the terrorists probably planned this to be an attack or series after at that would have a much wider impact than some another attacks that have been undertaken in the last 15 years. >> we are still track this is very much live vents, a live incident on the ground. but can we just step back for a couple of minutes, greg. if you are not in the region. if you don't understand the relationship between the indonesian government and the people who would want to perpetrate this kind of attack.
if you have an ax to grind against the government or the security forces or police, why wouldn't to do this? >> this will need more often. >> a rather obvious one, and you have discussed this with your previous guests is that these people may be inspired by i.s. may be inspired by the attacks in istanbul or particularly the attacks in paris. after the paris attacks were there a couple of indonesian leaders within ice i us in syria who posted blogs in which they were talking about the lessons learned there and asking them team make similar attacks in their own country.
it may be this attack has been sparked by that kind of social media activity. or these people have may have been involved in gee aheadism for a decade or more. my own gut feeling is a isil inspired attack as opposed to annaanal-qaeda motivation. >> greg feely, thank you. >> do stay with us with the very latest with us on what's going on in jakarr torque we'll have more for you on the attacks in indonesia and news from other parts in the world do stay with us here on al jazeera.
♪ ♪ welcome back. the top story here on al jazeera this hour, six blasts have gone off at a busy district in the indonesian capital killing at least seven people. four attackers among those dead and two on the run. security forces are still at the scene so far no group has claimed responsibility for the attack. andreas is the i want near an consolate for human rights watch he says the government is contributing to fear in the country. >> people are nervous and trying to stay away from the street from, public spaces and from some friends they also circulated police notice to stay away from american outlet.
why? because they are a bomb site. -- the bomb site had not only starbucks but also burger king, pizza hut and across the street is mcdonald's. we also have the french cafe and one building away from the french embassy, and in front of the u.n. building so you can see a lot of american expats and defense diplomats having cough any that particular spot. the government, especially the previous president in a bid to overcome the rise of islamists in indonesia. the rise of violence in indonesia in the name of islam, he narrow the spaces for the religion my or at this in indonesia. for instance, in building houses or churches, especially, it is going to be very difficult. over the last 10 years under the previous president more than
1,000 churches have already been closed. and women's rights is also declining. now 1/5 of indonesian women have to wear hijab. including nonmuslim, buddhist, whoever they have to wear the hijab. i think it's because of fear on the government side. the fear that they are going to -- if they don't dieter this conservative islamism and the violence, violence in the name of islam, then we will pay for the price for that. it is our freedom. okay, just stepping way from the events in indonesia for just a second we'll bring some other top stories here on al jazeera. at leaf five people have been killed 14 were injured in a car bomb attack near a police station in southeastern turk. it happened i in a district. attackers first detonated a bomb and fired at the security forces. there have been weeks of fighting between government forces and kurdish fighters in the province. earlier five people arrested in connection with tuesday's suicide bomb attack in istanbul
which killed 10 tourists. the prime minister saying the bomber was a syrian national who entered the country as a refugee, slipping under the radar of the authorities. andrew simmonds reports now from istanbul. >> reporter: on the approach for an ancient egyptian obelisk where the tour i tourist died n group led by the prime minister, interior ministers of turkey and germany also present. there is a surreal feeling here, the whole area has been cleaned up of the red flowers are the only visual sense of death. there are no signs of blast damage. apart from some wood gouged out of the seat. turkey's government blames isil for the attack. saying it's the organization's third bombing in the country and the first aimed at foreigners. >> translator: whoever attacks turk will face recal nation in whatever form it deems necessary.
we will not declare this immediately, but we will retaliate whenever and whatever form we deem necessary. >> reporter: the suicide bomber has been named by security sources as a 27-year-old syrian citizen born in saudi arabia. he is sighted here on cctv footage which he is said to have given hits fingerprints in istanbul only a week ago after an illegal border crossing. it was only hours after the blast that the police say they were able to identify him from his fingerprints. they say he wasn't an isil suspect. one of the most historic places in the world an tack on turkey's tourist industry with foreigners dead. it also sends a chilling message. and a realization of the colossal task facing security and intelligence agencies. some tourists appeared defiant. although many are staying away. >> life goes on and if we let
this sort of attacks like impact our daily lives, i think we are giving in to the threat altogether. we have to stay confident and live our lives well. >> i don't feel safe going to the -- like tourist place, so it might be an issue from my side 67 as the morning begins the germans who lost their lives on a package tour in this historic setting the leadership here is calling for foreign governments to show more solidarity and cooperation with turkey in it's fight against isil. andrew simmons, al jazeera, istanbul. australia has did he made a request from the u.s. for a great military commitment against aisles. iraq the australian defense minister says there are no plans to go i don't understand what the country is already doing the prime minister malcolm turnbull will visit washington next week to visit president obama where they plan to discuss the conflict and other security issues.
the u.s. and russian presidents have been discussing the u.n.-backed road map for peace in syria. barack obama and vladimir putin spoke on the telephone about reducing violence and insuring humanitarian access to sale civilian red sox. they say talks between the government and the opposition will go ahead in geneva as planned their month. earlier in rebel factions said tell are they will not attend the talk until aid surprise are made available to those indeed. our running order today dominated by the big story on ot of jakarta to get up to date before where he the juan this half hour of world news at least seven people have been killed in a coordinated series of explosions in central jakarta. we have been seeing the pictures, hearing the reports, gunfire ringing out. in that downtown area near a shopping mall, near hotels near coffee shops a well known coffee shop locally there as well think an unknown number of people have been injured. the security operation still
very much live it's ongoing in the area close to the presidential palace as well. you can keep right up on to date on that story and indeed all of our top stories on the website al jazeera. or talk to us on twitter as well. >> it feels like you're in a war zone and you're a medic and all of a sudden something happens and you're getting hundreds of patients every day. >> thank for joining us, i'm joie chen. the crack down is under way. just before christmas, the white house warned the crack down