Testimony from a female would-be suicide bomber helped Indonesian police thwart planned Christmas and New Year’s attacks by killing three suspects and capturing four others on Wednesday, officials told reporters.
Members of the anti-terror squad Densus 88, acting on testimony provided by Dian Yulia Novi, arrested a suspect identified as Adam, at 8 a.m. in South Tangerang, Banten, West Java province, about 25 km (15 miles) from Jakarta. Dian, who allegedly planned a suicide bomb attack outside the Presidential Palace during a changing-of-the-guard ceremony, was arrested Dec. 10.
Brig. Gen. Rikwanto, chief of the national police’s public information bureau, said Adam had told officers about three friends who lived in a house in the neighborhood of Babakan, South Tangerang. When Densus 88 raided the house around 9:45 a.m., the three resisted and were shot dead.
“They had been asked to surrender but they fought back, and threw a bomb, but the bomb did not explode. So we had to take firm action to paralyze them,” Rikwanto told a press conference at national police headquarters in Jakarta.
The dead suspects were identified as Omen, Erwan, and Helmi. Police found homemade pipe bombs and firearms in the rented house. The bombs were detonated at the scene.
“They wanted to detonate bombs at Christmas and New Year targeting police. (Their plan) was first to stab a police officer to attract crowd, and then detonate the bomb,” Jakarta Police Chief Inspector-General Mochamad Iriawan told reporters.
Elsewhere, police arrested a suspect in Payakumbuh, West Sumatra, identified as Jhon Tanamal, (alias Hamza), and another in Deli Serdang, North Sumatra, identified as Syafii.
National Police Chief Gen. Tito Karnavian said both were associated with the Khatibah Gonggong Rebus (KGR), a group that had planned a rocket attack on Singapore from the nearby Indonesian island of Batam, in August. Police found books and documents on bomb-making and materials, a national police spokesman said.
A suspect arrested Wednesday afternoon in Sagulung sub district in Batam has been identified as Abisya. He is part of KGR and affiliated with Bahrun Naim, according to police.
“Together with the other members of KGR, he helped two ethnic Uyghurs enter Indonesia illegally and hid their presence while in Batam,” Police Commander Awi Setiyono said in a statement. In August 2015 in Batam, Abisya and fellow KGR members allegedly pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS).
Full story: BenarNews
Ismira Lutfia Tisnadibrata
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