Police have confirmed the identities of the two terror suspects shot dead during a raid in East Java last month, verifying that they were wanted for a string of attacks including suicide bombings at two churches in Central Java.
Sr. Comr. Agus Rianto, a spokesman for the National Police, said in Jakarta on Thursday that DNA tests on the men killed in Tulungagung district on July 22 had confirmed that they were wanted suspects Muhamad Hidayat, also known as Dayah, and Eko Suryanto, also known as Rizal.
Agus said Hidayat had been on the police’s wanted list since March 2012 and was a known participant in a paramilitary training camp in Poso, Central Sulawesi, run by the country’s most wanted terror suspect, Santoso. He added that Hidayat was believed to have raised funding for the camp’s activities and to buy firearms.
“Eko, meanwhile, was wanted since 2011 for his involvement in the Central Java terror cell led by Roki Aprisdianto and Sigit Qurdowi,” Agus said.
The cell was responsible for a string of bombings and attempted bombings of police stations and churches in Klaten, Solo and Sukoharjo, including at two churches. No one was killed in those incidents except the suicide bombers.
Roki is currently serving a six-year prison sentence. He managed to escape from a Jakarta Police jail in November dressed in a burqa, but was recaptured shortly after.
Sigit, killed in a police shootout in Sukoharjo in May, was the commander of the armed wing of Jemaah Ansharut Tauhid, a hard-line Islamic group founded by terror kingpin Abu Bakar Bashir, who is in prison for funding the 2002 Bali bombings as well as other terror attacks.
Agus described Eko as an expert bombmaker. “After he was killed, officers discovered mortars strapped to his body.”
Eko and Hidayat had been on the way to Surabaya from Tulungagung when they were confronted by police. Two others with them, Mugi Hartanto and Sapari, were taken alive and later released for lack of evidence.
Mugi, a teacher, and Sapari, a village official, were believed to have been the terror suspects’ local guides while in Tulungagung, and not active members of any terrorist cell.