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Zakiah Aini, the Lone Wolf Attacker of the National Indonesian Police

April 3, 2021, 02.55 AM

JAKARTA, - Investigations carried out by the Indonesian National Police [Polri] have found that the Islamic State still cast its shadow over Indonesia, particularly the role of women in carrying out attacks.

IS continued to inspire Indonesian radicals who has taken action after getting radicalized by IS propaganda online, or joined their proxies such as Jamaah Ansharut Daulah [JAD], a group in Indonesia and other parts of Southeast Asia which swore allegiance to Islamic State.

A trend seen among these radicals, many of whom are millennials, was the increased role of women in carrying out terrorist attacks, and the dissemination of their intentions through instant messaging such as WhatsApp or social media like Instagram. 

First seen during the bombings in Surabaya, East Java in 2018, this terrorist modus operandi was further highlighted in last Sunday's suicide bombings of the cathedral in Makassar, South Sulawesi province, where one of the suspects was a woman identified as YSF.

Also read: Jokowi Calls for Unity Against Terrorism

But Zakiah Aini, the 'lone wolf' who singhlehandedly assaulted the Indonesian National Police Headquarters in Jakarta, raised awareness of this form of terror by giving it a name and a face.

CCTV footage of the assault showed her in a long black dress and a blue veil, brandishing a weapon and firing several shots into the Police Headquarters compound in Trunojoyo, South Jakarta on Wednesday, March 31.

The police stopped her rampage with a number of rounds. One of them pierced her heart and left her dying on the spot.

While much of Zakiah's motives remain unknown due to her death, a number of clues from her last days remained to give glimpses into her radicalization, as laid out below:

A former student at Gunadarma University

Gunadarma University Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Irwan Bastian confirmed that Zakiah studied at the university. He added that she did not complete her degree, as her studies only lasted until the fourth semester.

"[Zakiah] enrolled in [Gunadarma University] in 2013. But she dropped out of sight during the fifth semester onwards. Under our rules, she is no longer a Gunadarma student," Irwan explained to reporters last Thursday.

Also read: Indonesia Highlights: Indonesian National Police Identifies Assailant of Police Headquarters in Jakarta | Indonesian Police Arrest Dozens Over Makassar Cathedral Bombing | Indonesian Air Crash Investigators Find the Black Box of Sriwijaya Air Flight SJ182 |

Neither university officials nor Zakiah's loved ones or acquaintances knew why she discontinued her studies. The university records showed that she was an academically accomplished student as a sophomore, as seen in her good grade point average [GPA].

"[Zakiah Aini's GPA] was around 3.2 or 3.1," the Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Economics, Gunadarma University, Budi Prijanto, recalled to reporters.

The front of the University of Gunadarma campus on Jalan [street]  Margonda, Depok, West Rudi The front of the University of Gunadarma campus on Jalan [street] Margonda, Depok, West Java

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