The bomb, which detonated about 4.
10pm local time (8.10pm AEDT) on Tuesday, was in a package addressed to Ulil Abshar Abdalla, a moderate Muslim scholar and the founder of the group, Jaringan Islam Liberal (Liberal Islam Network).]
Jakarta police chief Sutarman said the explosion occurred before the bomb squad arrived when another officer already on the scene attempted to open the package.
The officer, identified as Dodi Rahmawan, lost his arm when the device exploded and remains in a critical condition in the Cipto Mangunkusumo hospital.
Two other police officers and a security guard were also injured in the blast and were also taken to hospital.
Graphic footage aired on Indonesian television shows the moment Rahmawan lost his arm when the device exploded. He can be seen hosing down the package and attempting to open it before the blast.
Sutarman said it was unclear why Rahmawan had attempted to open the package, but added that he may of thought it had been disarmed.
His condition meant he was not able to be questioned.
“Maybe there was communication (between him) and the bomb squad, then he tried to use water hose,” Sutarman said.
“He might think that it’s already inactive, but then when he tried to open it, it blew up. He lost his one arm, and definitely we still cannot question him.”
The package containing the bomb was wrapped in brown paper, and also contained a book and a letter addressed to Abdalla.
However, it appears the person, or persons, that sent the bomb was off target.
The building houses the offices of the Institute for Studies on Free Flow of Information (ISAI), a group which Abdalla has not worked with for some years.
The Muslim scholar founded Jaringan Islam Liberal while with ISAI, as part of efforts to counter the growing influence and activism of militant and radical Islam in Indonesia.
It describes itself as “a community which is studying and bringing forth a discourse on Islamic vision that is tolerant, open and supportive for the strengthening of Indonesian
Abdalla is also a key member of Indonesia’s Democrat Party, which he joined after President Yudhoyono won his second term in office in 2009.
The incident on Tuesday comes as Dr Yudhoyono remains under pressure to do more to curb a spike in religious violence in Indonesia including attacks on members of Ahmadiyah, a minority Muslim sect.
The president has made statements recently condemning attacks against Ahmadis after three were killed during a violent rampage involving 1500 people in Cikeusik, in west Java’s Banten province, last month.
But he has also been criticised by human rights groups after he defended a 2008 decree banning members of Ahmadiyah from spreading their faith.