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Jakarta Post

Police search for cleric believed to have radicalized Medan bomber

  • Apriadi Gunawan

    The Jakarta Post

Medan   /   Thu, November 14, 2019   /   04:27 pm
Police search for cleric believed to have radicalized Medan bomber Personnel of the National Police's Mobile Brigade walk toward the Medan Police headquarters on Wednesday following a suicide bombing. (Antara/Irsan Mulyadi)

The North Sumatra Police and the National Police’s counterterrorism squad Densus 88 are hunting a cleric believed to have influenced the suicide bomber that attacked the Medan Police headquarters on Wednesday.

Investigators had established the identity of the cleric, deputy North Sumatra Police chief Brig. Gen. Mardiaz Kusin Dwihananto said. The cleric is alleged to be the spiritual leader who swayed the suicide bomber, identified as Medan resident Rabbial Muslim Nasution alias Dedek, to commit the crime.

“The person we are hunting is believed to be the imam of the suicide bomber at the Medan Police headquarters. We have information on his identity,” he said at the Bhayangkara Hospital after visiting injured victims on Wednesday evening.

He added that the police had searched the house of the alleged cleric in the Belawan area, but he was nowhere to be found.

Investigators also questioned several people connected to Dedek, who blew himself up at the police station on Wednesday morning. The 24-year-old died at the premises while at least six people were injured from the blast.

All the information would be gathered to reveal Dedek’s network, Mardiaz added.

Although the suicide bomber is thought to have carried out the attack by himself, police are looking for any possible connections to Islamic State-affiliated homegrown terror group Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), which has been behind a number of terrorist attacks in Indonesia. (gis)