Jakarta Police keep mum after terror arrests
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The Jakarta Police are declining to discuss two suspicious incidents in the city on Wednesday that might be connected to terrorists previously operating in Central Sulawesi and Central Java.
“There is a lot of information circulating, including about links between Poso, Surakarta and Jakarta,” Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto told reporters on Thursday.
He declined to discuss the investigation in detail, saying only that the police would investigate all leads.
Rikwanto’s statement came after officers arrested a man identified as Firman just outside the city in Depok, West Java, on Wednesday morning, and the accidental discovery of a makeshift bomb-making center in a house in Tambora, West Jakarta, in the afternoon.
The police have confirmed that Firman and another suspect, M. Thoriq, who also lived in the house in Tambora, were linked to the three armed attacks against police in Surakarta, Central Java, in August that resulted in the killing of a police officer.
Thoriq’s identity as a bomb maker was revealed when his mother split open a container of powder at their home in Gang Terate VII in Tambora’s Jembatan Lima subdistrict. The powder filled the air and caught the attention of neighbors, who thought the house had caught fire.
Thoriq, 32, fled as his neighbors broke into the house, leaving his wife, mother and infant son behind.
Detectives determined that the powder was an ingredient used to make explosives.
Police also found other bomb making materials at the house, along with 11 jihad-themed books and other literature on how to make bombs, Rikwanto said.
His family members and neighbors said that Thoriq often withdrew himself from society and that he was a fanatic Muslim.
Firman was arrested at his uncle’s house on Jl. Raya Kalimulya in Depok, earlier in the day. He was involved in the Surakarta Police attacks, the police said.
“He rode the motorcycle with Farhan, the man who shot at the police,” National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar said. “The other two suspects were watching from the wings.”
According to Boy, Firman is a former student of Al Mukmin Islamic boarding school in Ngruki, Central Java. He was in the same year as Farhan and Mukhsin, the other two suspects in the case who were killed by officers from the National Police’s Densus 88 counterterrorism unit on Aug. 31.
In a video played at National Police headquarters during a press conference on Thursday, another suspect in the shooting, Bayu Setiono, said that his group was aiming to incite chaos in Surakarta, which is also known as Solo.
“We wanted to make Solo fall apart, just like Poso and Ambon. That way, we could establish Islamic sharia law and a caliphate in Indonesia.”
“Our targets are the thaghut [tyrannical] authorities,” Bayu said, adding that the attacks were “planned for years” to “break Surakarta and make the thaghut authorities tremble in fear”.
Meanwhile, National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) chief Insp. Gen. (ret.) Ansyaad Mbai said that the terror suspect that the agency recently arrested in Poso allegedly planned to bomb the House of Representatives in Central Jakarta.
“The suspect, Mujib, said that he had surveyed the House building three times and created a map of the place,” he said.
Ansyaad said his public statement was not designed to induce panic.
“That was my thought from the beginning, that I would be accused of creating panic. But I think this is the best. The [House] is a prominent symbol of state sovereignty. If it is attacked by terrorists, then we are lost.”
The incidents come as the Jakarta Police beef up security ahead of the impending Sept. 20 runoff election between incumbent Governor Fauzi Bowo and Surakarta Mayor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo. » Terrorism p6