Indonesia arrests 22 militants following attack on minister

16-Oct-2019 Intellasia | Stripes | 6:02 AM Print This Post

At least 22 suspected militants plotting bombings and other attacks have been arrested in a counterterrorism crackdown following last week’s assault by a knife-wielding militant couple who wounded Indonesia’s top security minister, police said Monday.

National police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo told a news conference that the police’s elite anti-terror squad, known as Densus 88, seized 10 homemade pipe bombs believed to be intended for suicide attacks, chemicals for use in explosives, airsoft guns, knives, documents on planned attacks, jihadist books, laptops and cellphones in separate raids.

Police were hunting other suspected militants, who mostly are participants in a social media chat group. They have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group and are members of a local ISIS affiliate known as the Jama’ah Anshorut Daulah, or JAD.

“Members of this group are free to conduct ‘amaliah’ independently, depending on the ability of those who want to carry out the attacks,” Prasetyo said, referring to an Arabic term for violent jihadist action against those perceived as enemies of Islam.

Indonesian National Police spokesperson Brig.Gen. Dedi Prasetyo, right, and an aide show photos of evidence of confiscated items during raids following a knife attack against Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security Wiranto during a press conference in Jakarta, Indonesia, Monday, Oct. 14, 2019. (Stripes)

Indonesian National Police spokesperson Brig.Gen. Dedi Prasetyo, right, and an aide show photos of evidence of confiscated items during raids following a knife attack against Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security Wiranto during a press conference in Jakarta, Indonesia, Monday, Oct. 14, 2019. (Stripes)

Chief Security minister Wiranto, a local police chief and a third man were wounded in the broad daylight attack on Thursday by the couple in the western province of Banten. Wiranto, who goes by one name, is recovering in an army hospital in Jakarta and police were interrogating the couple, who were believed to be members of a JAD bloc in Banten.

Among the suspects arrested in the series of police raids were a man and his 14-year-old son on the Indonesian resort island of Bali who plotted to make a bomb for an attack against the local police. They were arrested just hours after Thursday’s attack against Wiranto in a rare militant attack on a top government official in Indonesia.

The other suspects targeting state forces were captured by anti-terrorism commandos on the main island of Java, where the bustling capital, Jakarta, lies, in Banten, and in the provinces of Lampung, West Java and Jambi, as well as in Poso town, a hotbed of militants on Sulawesi island, Prasetyo said.

A suspect arrested in North Sulawesi province was affiliated with an Islamic State group-aligned militant bloc called the East Indonesian Mujahidin group in Poso town. Identified by police only by his nom de guerre Jack Sparrow, he has pledged to carry out a bomb attack in the restive Indonesian province of Papua.

Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, has carried out a sustained crackdown on Islamic militants since bombings on Bali in 2002 killed 202 people, mostly foreigners.

The Jemaah Islamiyah military network, which was blamed for the Bali attacks, was neutralised following the arrests of hundreds of its militants and leaders. But new threats have emerged in recent times from Islamic State group-inspired radicals who have targeted security forces and local “infidels” instead of Westerners.

https://www.stripes.com/news/pacific/indonesia-arrests-22-militants-following-attack-on-minister-1.603032

 


Tags:

Category: Indonesia

Print This Post