Sunday, September 23, 2012

8 terror suspects busted in Indonesia

Personnel from the National Police counterterrorism unit, Densus 88, arrested eight suspected terrorists in different locations across Surakarta (commonly known as Solo), Central Java, during separate operations late Friday and early Saturday.

Two of the eight suspects are believed to have played a key role in a new terrorist group, the name of which is still unknown.

“BH and RK are the main figures in this new group. BH is the person who taught [Muhammad] Thorik [how to assemble explosives],” 
National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar told the press at police headquarters in Jakarta yesterday.

Thorik is a terrorist suspect whose house in Tambora, West Jakarta, was discovered with explosives stored inside it. He surrendered to police on September 9. Aside from having a connection with Thorik, the eight newly arrested men are also linked to Wahyu Ristanto, who died of severe wounds in an explosion in Depok, West Java on September 8.

The group allegedly had plans to attack police stations and facilities.

RK, 45, was apprehended near the Solo Square shopping mall in Serengan district, Surakarta at 11:24pm on Friday, while BH, 45, was caught near his home in the Kampung Griyan neighbourhood in Laweyan district at 5:50am on Saturday.

From BH’s house, police confiscated handmade rifles, a handmade detonator, sulphur and potassium, Antara news agency reported. The police also seized a book about jihad from the house.

Soon after his arrest, hundreds of local people gathered around BH’s house in Laweyan to get an update. Sri Partini, 60, who lives nearby, said BH was known to be a seller of parakeets.

“His wife wanted to contribute to the household finances by selling vegetables, but he did not allow her,” she said, adding that recently, BH had not been seen at home.

Following the arrests of RK and BH, Densus 88 officers subsequently apprehended BN, 24; FN, 18; IP, 30; K, 43; N, 46; and P, 29.

“They are all under investigation. We have not yet brought them to Jakarta; they are still in Surakarta,” Boy said, adding that Densus 88 would need a further two or three days to complete their inquiries. The police will also be scouring the suspects’ homes in an effort to obtain more evidence.

Based on police records, Boy said BH and RK had attended a terrorist training camp in Poso, Central Sulawesi. He added that the two men were senior figures in the alleged terrorist cell and were responsible for recruiting suicide bombers, purchasing explosives and assembling bombs.

According to police, the other six arrested terrorist suspects were allegedly tasked with storing explosives and learning how to make bombs.

“We are convinced that these men are linked to the recent Depok explosion and the explosives storehouse in Tambora. These are also the people who fled from the police raid in Poso [Central Sulawesi] a few months ago,” Boy said.

Police believe the men travelled to Bojong Gede (south of Depok) to plan their terror attacks.-Asia News Network (Septemeber 23, 2012)

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