Indonesia’s elite anti-terror squad has arrested a total of nine
Islamic militants and seized a dozen homemade bombs from a group
suspected of planning suicide attacks against security forces and the
government, police said on Sunday.
Two suspects were arrested Saturday in Central Java’s Solo town
after authorities received information about their whereabouts from
other militants in the group who had recently surrendered, said
national police spokesman Brig. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar. The two were
interrogated and led police to six other members of the group hours
later in the same town. A ninth suspect was arrested late Saturday in
West Kalimantan on the island of Borneo.
Amar said two of those arrested, Badri Hartono and Rudi Kurnia
Putra, both 45, worked to recruit young men and taught at least one
member of the group how to make bombs.
“They were the central figures of the group who had planned
several terror attacks,” Amar said. “They recruited,
invited young men to be trained in a military-style jihadi camp and
bought bomb-making materials.”
He said the group had planned to bomb the country’s Parliament
building, shoot police and attack members of the anti-terrorism
Police seized 12 homemade bombs and others that were partially
completed along with three rifles, four swords and several jihadist
books from the homes of three suspects, Amar said. Five bombs were
safely defused late Saturday at the scene in Solo, the hometown of
convicted radical cleric Abu Bakar Bashir.
Police are still investigating the possible link of the unnamed
group to other terrorism networks, Amar said. Authorities believe it
has now been largely broken up, but they continue to search for other
Since March, more than 30 militant suspects have been arrested and
seven others killed in a series of raids in Indonesia. All were
plotting domestic attacks, and some — aged between 18 and 30 —
had attended a military-style training camp in Poso on Sulawesi
Another member of the unnamed group, alleged bomb maker Muhammad
Toriq, surrendered two weeks ago in the capital, Jakarta, while
carrying a gun and ammunition and wearing a suicide bomber belt that
did not contain any explosives. A second militant, Yusuf Rizaldi,
gave himself up to police in North Sumatra three days later. Both
cooperated to help bring down the group’s other members in Saturday’s
raid, Amar said.
Police have said Toriq was allegedly part of an elaborate plan to
shoot police and bomb the Parliament building as a way to wage jihad
to establish Islamic Sharia law in the world’s most populous
He had been on the run since police flushed him out of his Jakarta
house earlier this month after neighbors reported seeing smoke
billowing from it. He escaped again a week later after a blast rocked
a house in the capital’s outskirts. Police believe the bomb
accidentally exploded while it was being prepared for a terrorist
attack, killing one alleged militant inside the home.
When Toriq walked into a police station and surrendered after
having a change of heart, he told authorities he had planned to go on
a suicide bomb mission Sept. 10, targeting either police, Indonesia’s
elite anti-terrorism squad or Buddhists as a way to protest against
treatment of the minority Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.