The Jakarta Post
The Indonesian Military (TNI) in Poso, Central Sulawesi, arrested two men suspected to be members of East Indonesia Mujahidin (MIT), a terrorist group currently led by Ali Kalora.
Tadulako military base spokesperson Maj. Muhlis Lamongki confirmed the arrest with The Jakarta Post on Monday evening. He said one of them had left the group because he was suffering from hepatitis.
Muhlis said the two were identified as Abdul Muthalib Pia (alias Abu) and Muthalib (alias Bento), a 27-year-old from Batu Merah, Ambon, in Maluku. Batu Merah was an area known as the base for “jihadists” during Maluku sectarian conflicts in the late 1990s to early 2000.
The other man was identified as Hanzolah (alias Yadi), a 33-year-old from Pasar Minggu, South Jakarta.
The TNI arrested the two on separate occasions. Muthalib was arrested after he visited Kalora village to buy a pair of sandals. Suspicious residents reported his visit to the nearest military post in Poso Pesisir Utara district.
A brief investigation found that Muthalib had joined MIT in February, Muhlis said. He had undergone training by MIT in the forest in the mountains to target “heathens, security personnel and Shiites”, Muhlis added. Muthalib left the forest because he could not endure the life with MIT. “He has hepatitis,” Muhlis said.
Meanwhile, Hanzolah was arrested after he visited a village in Kalora, which also resulted from a tip from residents. (evi)