BANDUNG, Indonesia: Indonesian police said they arrested five suspected Islamic militants yesterday and seized chemicals that were to be used for attacks on several locations, including the presidential palace. West Java police spokesman Yusri Yunus said the militants arrested in the city of Bandung were members of Jemaah Anshorut Daulah, a network of about two dozen Indonesian extremist groups that formed in 2015 and pledges allegiance to Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Yunus said among those arrested were a husband and wife who were deported about three years ago from Hong Kong on suspicion of spreading radical ideology.
The couple, a 20-year-old man and his 24-year-old wife, were arrested in Bandung’s Kiaracondong neighborhood, not far from the rented house of a man believed to be the donor and bomb maker, Yunus said. He added that police discovered a chemical liquid in various containers at the house.
He identified the two other suspects as a 30-year-old from the East Java town of Kediri and a 28-year-old Bandung resident.
“They learn to make bombs from Bahrun Naim’s blog,” Yunus said, referring to an Indonesian fighting with the Islamic State group in Syria who has instigated several attacks by Jemaah Anshorut Daulah in Indonesia. “This arrest opened a new discovery linked to terror acts.”
Yunus said the group planned to launch the attacks at the end of August, with targets including the presidential palace in Jakarta, as well as headquarters of the police’s elite force in Jakarta and Bandung. Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, has carried out a sustained crackdown on Islamic militants since the 2002 bombings on the tourist island of Bali killed 202 people, mostly foreigners.
The arrests of hundreds of militants and the killings of leading figures have neutralized the Jemaah Islamiyah militant network, which was responsible for the Bali bombings, but new threats have emerged in recent times from Islamic State group-inspired radicals. – AP