Terrorism expert Sidney Jones, who is Director of Jakarta-based Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict, stated that the rally could be used by Indonesian Islamic State sympathizers to engage in terrorist acts. Reportedly, conversations in chat groups point at the urge to use Friday's opportunity to spread radical Islamic doctrine and follow the example of earlier terrorist attacks that were aimed at Indonesian police officers.

On Thursday 14 January 2016 several explosions and gunfire in Central Jakarta resulted in the deaths of eight people - including the four Indonesian attackers - while 23 others were injured. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for this incident. A Starbucks branch and nearby police post were the main targets of the terrorists.

On Thursday 20 October 2016 an Islamic State (IS)-inspired Indonesian man attacked police officers at a police traffic post in Tangerang (West Java) with a knife, leaving three officers injured. The attacker was killed by police.

Indonesia has a long history of Islamic terror attacks. Starting from the 2000s the radical Muslims are particularly targeting Indonesian police officers (symbols of the Indonesian state) rather than symbols of the Western world (such as Western hotel chains or cafes).

For an analysis of radical Islam in Indonesia, visit this page:

Radical Islam in Indonesia

For information about the background of the anti-Ahok demonstration, read this column:

Politics of Indonesia: Anti-Ahok Demonstration with Political Motives