JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – The Indonesian National Police has arrested 23 people in connection with a suicide blast at a Catholic cathedral in Makassar, the capital of South Sulawesi province last Sunday, which killed the two suicide bombers and wounded 20 churchgoers and security guards.
“Investigators arrested 13 people in Makassar,for their involvement in the blast,” Indonesian National Police Chief General Listyo Sigit Prabowo said at a press conference in National Police Headquarters in Jakarta on Wednesday, March 31.
“One of them is an individual identified as W, whom we suspect to be the mastermind of the bombing. The arrests bring the number of people we detained in the wake of the bombings to 23, after we arrested ten others in Jakarta and the nearby city of Bekasi, West Java, as well as Bima, West Nusa Tenggara [NTB] province.”
Listyo added that the investigation of the bombing is still ongoing as the police, specifically the Densus 88 or Detachment 88 counterterrorist unit, continue to develop their case. The police identified the suicide bombers as L and his wife YSF.
The police confiscated five live bombs and bombmaking materials like sulphur, black powder and hydrogen peroxide in the Jakarta and Bekasi raids.
The two, and their accomplices in Makassar, Jakarta and Bima are known to be part of the Jamaah Anshor Daulat [JAD] terrorist network.
Prior to the Makassar cathedral attack, JAD was implicated in a number of attacks in Indonesia and the Philippines.
These include a series of bombings in Surabaya, East Java which killed 28 people in 2018, as well as a suicide blast at a cathedral in the southern Philippine city of Jolo the next year which killed 20 people, including the two attackers.