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Indonesian Counterterrorist Police Nab JI Militants in Sumatra

December 3, 2020, 01.47 AM

JAKARTA, – The Indonesian National Police’s Detachment 88 (Densus 88) counterterrorist unit nabbed a number of suspected terrorists from the Jamaah Islamiyah (JI) militant organization.

“Densus 88 captured the suspected JI militants in Palembang, South Sumatra Province, and Riau earlier this week,” said Police spokesman Brigadier General Awi Setiyono in Jakarta on Wednesday, December 2. He did not disclose the suspects’ identities.

“The terrorists worked closely with a major JI operative identified as TB, UL, or as ‘The Professor’ for his bombmaking skills. We captured the JI cells in Palembang and Riau because they were known to shelter the highly mobile UL, who has been a fugitive since 2006, in the past.”

Also read: Indonesia Pursues IS Linked Terrorists Behind Central Sulawesi Attack 

Awi added that Densus 88 captured UL in Lampung province at the end of November. “UL is a valued asset as he is seen as a successor to Dr. Azahari, a JI bombmaker who was killed [by Densus 88] during a raid in Malang, East Java province in 2005.” 

“Prior to his arrest in Lampung, UL fled to Poso, Central Sulawesi in 2007, as well as Makassar {South Sulawesi], Surabaya [East Java] and Solo [Central Java] before settling in Lampung. He was implicated in a number of attacks in Poso, which killed 27 people and wounded 92 others.”

Awi added that UL admitted to constructing a bunker where he can make improvised guns, bombs, and bombmaking materials for a jihad.

Also read: Indonesian Counterterrorist Police Arrest 9 Terror Suspects in West Sumatra

JI and its affiliates have been held responsible for a number of major bomb attacks in Indonesia, the Philippines and other parts of Southeast Asia since the early 2000s.

The attacks included the 2002 Bali bombings which killed more than 200 people, and bomb blasts in Jakarta at the Marriott Hotel and the Australian Embassy in 2003 and 2004, respectively, which killed and wounded dozens more.

The Malaysian-born Dr. Azahari was implicated in these and other bombings, along with his compatriot Nurdin Muhammad Top. The latter was killed by police in 2009, following an attack on the Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta the same year.

(Writer: Devina Halim | Editor: Kristian Erdianto)


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