JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – The Indonesian National Police [Polri] cracked down on the Jamaah Ansharut Daulah [JAD] terrorist cells, after a suspected militant from the terrorist group and his wife launched a suicide attack on a Catholic cathedral in Makassar, South Sulawesi.
The blast, which occurred on Sunday, killed the suicide bombers and injured 20 people.
“[Densus 88] arrested four suspected terrorists during the operations. They were identified as ZA, AH, AG and BS,” said Indonesian National Police chief General Listyo Sigit Prabowo in a press conference televised by the Kompas TV station.
“The unit confiscated five active, fused bombs that were ready to use as evidence during the operation. They also found four kilograms of explosive materials, including acetone, hydrogen peroxide, sulphur, black [gun]powder in five jars, and a thermometer.”
He added that the suspects planned to use the materials to make detonators and have been given different roles.
“The suspects' tasks included buying [bombmaking] materials, teaching bombmaking, and making the bombs. They also designated one of their members to blow up the bombs.”
In plain sight
Local civilians witnessed the Densus 88. “I saw [that the suspect] resisted arrest as [Densus 88] handcuffed and took him away,” said eyewitness Sri Anita, a Condet resident. “The [terrorist] suspect run a car showroom business that is integrated with their house.”
An eyewitness to the Densus 88 operation in Bekasi observed that the “three men arrested by [Densus 88] during the operation have been in the area for the last three years. They even opened a car shop,” said the eyewitness, Sinan.
However, the owner of the house rented by the three men disagreed. “The men have rented my house for the past four years,” recalled Haryanto to Kompas TV.
“I often talked to them, and they did not display any suspicious behavior when they rented the house.” The police’s bomb squad or Gegana also exploded some of the bombs they confiscated as evidence in Bekasi.
Crackdowns in Makassar and NTB
Densus 88 also launched raids in the city of Bima at West Nusa Tenggara [NTB] Province on Sunday, hours after the blast. “[Densus 88] arrested five suspected militants in various locales throughout Bima,” said NTB Regional Police spokesman Police Grand Commissioner Artarto.
“Four of the men, who were identified as H, S alias Udin Rebo, B aka Gozi, and M, were arrested last Sunday. We captured their fifth accomplice, Y the following day.”
The Police also launched further crackdowns in Makassar, the capital of South Sulawesi province, hours after the suicide bombing. "We arrested four suspected terrorists, whom we identified as AS, SAS, MR and AA," said Listyo.
"They were in the same prayer group as L and YSF, the suspects behind the suicide bombing"
JAD is also implicated in attacks on Surabaya, Indonesia’s second largest city in May 2018, the attack on Jolo Cathedral in the Philippines in January 2019, and an attempted assassination of former Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto in October 2019.
(Writer: Karnia Septia, Mataram Contributor, Himawan, Makassar Contributor | Theresia Ruth Simanjuntak, Dheri Agriesta, Khairina)
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