Incident Summary:

03/15/2011: On Tuesday afternoon, outside the building of the Institute for Studies on the Free Flow of Information in the Utan Kayu area of Jakarta, Indonesia, in one of four linked parcel bombing attacks, a letter bomb hidden in a hollowed-out book entitled "They Deserved to be Killed: Because of their Sins to Islam and Muslims" addressed to Ulil Abshar Abdalla, a well-known liberal Islamic figure, detonated as police attempted to defuse it. The device, which was hand-delivered by courier and contained ammonium chlorate, injured four people while it is unknown if the blast resulted in any property damage. Accompanying the bomb was a threatening letter urging Abdalla to write a preface to the book. According to police, based on the materials used in the packages, the assailants aimed to instill fear and cause injuries, not cause deaths. No group claimed responsibility for the attack, but authorities suspected Jamaah Islamiyah (JI) militants were responsible. After examining the design of one of the devices, police detectives named a bomb-maker known as Upik Lawang as their prime suspect.




Southeast Asia

region/u.s. state:



Location Details:
The bombing attack took place outside the building of the Institute for Studies on the Free Flow of Information in the Utan Kayu area of Jakarta, Indonesia.

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Bombing/Explosion
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Religious Figures/Institutions
Name of Entity
Specific Description Ulil Abshar Abdalla, a well-known liberal Islamic figure,
Nationality of Target Indonesia
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage Unknown
Extent of Property Damage Unknown
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Explosives Letter Bomb
Weapon Details
A letter bomb hidden in a hollowed out book was used in the attack.
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?Yes
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Jemaah Islamiya (JI) (suspected) No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators Unknown
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 0 Fatalities / 4 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 0
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 4
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
Straits Times, “Terror Group Behind Indonesia 'Book Bombs',” Agence France Presse, March 16, 2011,
Jane’s Intelligence, “Letter Bomb Wounds Two People in Indonesian Capital,” Terrorism Watch Report, Jakarta Post, March 15, 2011.
Straits Times, “Fourth Book Bomb Discovered in Indonesia,” Agence France Presse, March 17, 2011,