Another Depok bomb suspect surrenders to police
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North Sumatra Police revealed on Thursday that a suspected terrorist linked to Saturday’s explosion in Depok, Yusuf Rizaldi, surrendered to Pangkalan Susu Police in Langkat regency, North Sumatra, on Wednesday.
Yusuf was flown to Jakarta from Polonia International Airport in Medan on Thursday under the tight supervision of the National Police Densus 88 counterterrorism unit.
North Sumatra Police chief Insp. Gen. Wisjnu Amat Sastro said that the police investigation revealed that Yusuf was involved in the Depok blast as he had allowed his house to be used to make the bombs.
“It is confirmed that he is one of [Muhammad] Thoriq’s group. Densus 88 has taken him to Jakarta for further investigation about his role in the group,” Wisjnu said.
Police’s spokesperson Sr. Comr. Heru Prakoso said that Yusuf was not at his rented house in Depok when the explosion took place. The house, which police believe was a bomb-making center, was set up to look like an orphanage.
Heru said that Yusuf was in Kebon Jeruk, West Jakarta, when the bomb exploded. When he heard the news about the blast, he immediately headed to Serpong and through Merak Port went to Lampung, Pekanbaru and finally to his parents’ house.
The police discovered his whereabouts and had planned to make an arrest, but Yusuf turned himself into the police on Wednesday afternoon accompanied by his mother and relatives.
“His mother played a great role in persuading Yusuf to surrender to the police,” Heru said, adding that the suspect was not carrying any weapons or bomb-making equipment when he surrendered.
According to him, Yusuf turned himself into the police because he did not want to be on the run with Densus 88 on his trail, especially after he learned about Thoriq’s surrender and Wahyu Ristanto’s death.
Wahyu, aka Anwar, who was one of the three people injured in the explosion, died from his wounds on Wednesday at Dr. Sukanto Police Hospital in Kramat Jati, East Jakarta.
According to the police, there were nine people in Thoriq’s group, five of whom had been identified. In his statement to the police, Thoriq also described Wahyu as the group’s bomb-maker.
The police have linked the Depok blast to recent attacks on three police posts in Surakarta, Central Java, by unidentified men. One police officer was killed and two others injured in the attacks.
The Jakarta Police have made a concerted effort with authorities in municipalities and regencies to tackle possible threats and prevent attacks in the future.
The police have also asked community leaders to increase their vigilance and to be more proactive in compiling profiles of residents in their neighborhoods.
On Wednesday, the police arrested a man identified as Suhadi less than one day after the suspect sent a bomb threat through the Jakarta Police’s Traffic Management Center (TMC) late on Tuesday.
In the text message sent from his cellular phone, Suhadi, 35, a resident of Cilandak, South Jakarta, said, “Your boss’ house on Jl. Pattimura will explode in 10 minutes and all the guards are away”. He was referring to the house of National Police chief Gen. Timur Pradopo.
The threat was a hoax, according to Jakarta Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Rikwanto.
“We arrested the suspect on Wednesday night in Sawangan, Depok,” Rikwanto said. “During questioning, the suspect said he had sent the text message for fun.”
Rikwanto said that he had violated the 2003 Counterterrorism Law and could face a maximum of 15 years’ imprisonment if proved guilty.