WHEN Indonesia’s capital Jakarta was attacked by Islamist terrorists on January 4, militants armed with automatic weapons and bombs were stopped by security staff as they tried to gain access to Sarinah Mall.

Foiled by security staff, the attackers detonated bombs at the checkpoint, and attacked police and security personnel, not defenceless shoppers in the busy mall. Security officer, Rais Karna, died after being shot in the head during the attacks. 

According to local reporters, the checks at the mall had been nicknamed ‘security theatre’ by locals and considered a source of humour and entertainment.

But the way events unfolded at Sarinah highlight the importance of relatively low technology security checks conducted as part of procedures undertaken by capable security teams on the ground.♦

Meant for shoppers: A bomb explodes outside the mall