Sunday, December 11, 2016

Jakarta remains vulnerable to terror attacks with leading IS terrorist on the loose

The successful thwarting by law enforcement authorities of a plot by a radical cell to bomb a major target in Jakarta over the weekend does not guarantee that the capital remains safe from another terrorist threat, the police have warned. 

On Saturday, the National Police’s Densus 88 counterterrorism squad arrested four people in two cities – Bekasi in West Java and Karanganyar in Central Java – for allegedly planning a bomb attack at a major target, believed to be the State Palace, in Jakarta.

In a rented house in Bekasi where one of the suspects was arrested, the police found a high-explosive bomb that was capable of destroying everything within a radius of 300 meters.

National Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Awi Setiyono, however, said there was a possibility that other terrorist cells under the leadership of Muhammad “Bahrun Naim” Anggih Tamtomo, a leader of the Katibah Nusantara militant group, a regional affiliate of the Islamic State (IS) movement, remain active and preparing for other attacks.

“We have learned that BN has recruited other terrorist cells to carry out suicide attacks,” Awi said on Sunday in a press briefing, referring to the initials of Bahrun Naim.

In January, a terrorist attack on Jl. M. H. Thamrin, Central Jakarta, left four terrorists and four civilians dead, and more than 25 injured. It was allegedly masterminded by Bahrun Naim, whose whereabouts remain unknown.

In November 2010, Densus 88 arrested Bahrun Naim and seized hundreds of rounds of ammunition from his house in Surakarta, Central Java. The Surakarta District Court sentenced him in June 2011 to two-and-a-half years in prison for violating Emergency Law No. 12/1951 on illegal firearms possession.

Hasyim Widhiarto  The Jakarta Post


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