A prison riot involving forty convicted terrorists is currently unfolding in Depok, a West Javan city adjacent to the Indonesian capital, Jakarta.
The riot began on Tuesday evening local time at Mobile Brigade Command Headquarters (Mako Brimob), a high-security prison whose inmates include those convicted of terrorism.
According to official reports, a standoff occurred as a result of a simple misunderstanding over food between one inmate and a member of Densus 88, Indonesia’s counter-terrorism squad. The situation escalated quickly as the inmate incited others to action, took officers hostage, and managed to access the prison’s arms reserves.
Five Densus 88 officers were reported dead, while one was released after being taken hostage for more than 24 hours.
Detainees’ questionable motives
Through its propaganda outlet, the group ISIS claimed involvement in the incident. The Indonesian police have denied the group’s claim.
Most of the detainees belonged to JAD, a group designated terrorist by the US government.
According to Indonesian terrorism analyst Al Chaidar, the riot wasn’t premeditated, but the motive could be vengeance against the authorities, who raided cells to confiscate smuggled mobile phones and copies of the Koran.