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Jakarta Post

Police chief denies allegations of public attention diversion over arrest of terrorist suspects

  • Margareth S. Aritonang

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, December 16, 2016   /  01:35 pm
Police chief denies allegations of public attention diversion over arrest of terrorist suspects Show of force: National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian (left) briefs reporters as Indonesian Military (TNI) commander Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo looks on after their meeting at police headquarters in Jakarta late last month. (Antara/Muhammad Adimaja)

National Police Chief Gen. Tito Karnavian defended the police’s efforts to counter a bombing attack plot on the State Palace, ensuring that the threat was real, and he was willing to step down if it was not.

“We have worked hard to arrest [the suspects]. It’s not true that the plot was orchestrated. I am ready to be dismissed if it was,” Tito told the press on the sidelines of a ceremony at the National Police headquarters on Friday.

Tito was responding to a circulating statement by lawmaker Eko Hendro Purnomo of the National Mandate Party (PAN) saying that the recent arrests of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) linked individuals to a bomb planned for the State Palace was staged by the police as a diversion from the blasphemy case implicating Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama. The police’s criminal investigation department has summoned Eko to clarify his statement that was quoted by several newspapers.

“I would also encourage the Indonesian public to not be easily influenced [by any statements],” Tito emphasized.

He further explained that the police’s Densus 88 Counterterrorism squad had arrested nine suspects over the plan to attack the State Place. Those arrested include the bomb maker, the person in charge of finances, the suicide bombers and the person who conducted a survey for the plan. (dmr)

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