Indonesia arrests 19th suspect linked to Jakarta attack

Indonesian police arrest another suspect linked to Jan.14 Jakarta attack, where eight people were killed

Photo by: AA (Archive)
Photo by: AA (Archive)

Indonesian police officers stand guard near the damaged Starbucks Coffe building in Jakarta on January 15, 2016

 Indonesian police have announced that another suspected “terrorist” has been arrested, bringing to 19 the total number of people held in custody on suspicion of terrorism after last week’s fatal attack in Jakarta. 

National Police Chief Badrodin Haiti said that the latest suspect – whose identity was not disclosed – was arrested by an anti-terror squad near Jakarta due to his alleged role in providing a firearm for a future attack, reported Saturday.

The man – who is undergoing police interrogation – is also accused of supporting a local terrorist group led by the country’s most wanted man – Abu Wardah Santoso who has pledged allegiance to Daesh.

Haiti also referred late Friday to previous arrests over the alleged planned attack in saying that the latest suspect “was arrested in Bekasi related to the second group [whose members] were captured earlier." 

He had previously announced that 18 people were in custody for suspected involvement in the Jan. 14 violence – which left eight people including four Daesh-linked attackers dead – and a planned attack.

Of them, six suspects – identified only by their initials – are accused of assisting in the bombings and shootouts around Jakarta’s Sarinah shopping center, despite not being at the scene of the violence.

One allegedly bought a firearm for an attacker, and another a gas cylinder used in the explosions, while the other four allegedly had knowledge about bomb-making as well as the attack plan.

National police spokesperson Anton Charliyan had earlier said that police discovered explosives similar to the bombs used in the attack in a raid of the sixth suspect's house.

Of the 18, the other 12 are accused of possessing and providing illegal firearms for a future attack, and supporting Santoso, who leads the East Indonesia Mujahideen, a terrorist group believed to be hiding in the mountainous forests of Central Sulawesi province.

Six of them were arrested on the islands of Borneo and Java in a series of raids, while the others were already in custody but allegedly still had access to “terrorist networks” outside prison.

Badrodin said Friday night that one of the suspects accused of planning a future attack had accepted transfers amounting to Rp1 billion ($72,000) last year from Bahrunsyah, an Indonesian believed to have a prominent role in Daesh in Syria.

"Bahrunsyah is one of the leaders in Syria. It was he who sent funds [from Syria] to these groups to perform ‘amaliyah’ [terror attack] in Indonesia," he added.

The 12 accused of planning a future violent incident reportedly had collected nine firearms – most of them homemade – before their arrests.

The archipelago has been on alert against extremist groups, and more than 20 people suspected of having Daesh links were arrested across Indonesia’s islands late last month.

Of them, 11 were placed in custody on Java island for allegedly plotting a Christmas Eve attack in the capital.

TRTWorld, AA