THREE SUS­PECTS

IS claims re­spon­si­bil­ity through pro­pa­ganda agency Amaq

New Straits Times - - News / Story of the day -

JAKARTA

INDONESIAN au­thor­i­ties have ar­rested three sus­pects over a twin sui­cide bomb­ing at a Jakarta bus ter­mi­nal that killed three po­lice­men and has been claimed by the Is­lamic State (IS) group, an of­fi­cial said yes­ter­day.

The elite anti-ter­ror squad work­ing with reg­u­lar po­lice on Thurs­day de­tained two men in Ban­dung on Java is­land and a third in the nearby area of Cimahi, and their houses were be­ing searched, said lo­cal po­lice spokesman Yusri Yunus.

“We ar­rested three peo­ple in con­nec­tion with the bomb­ing, in three dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions yes­ter­day af­ter­noon,” he said.

The houses of the two sus­pected bombers are in the same area and had been raided by au­thor­i­ties, who found Is­lamic teach­ing ma­te­ri­als and bladed weapons.

The bombers at­tacked the busy ter­mi­nal in the cap­i­tal late on Wed­nes­day in a dra­matic as­sault that sparked panic and left hu­man body parts and shat­tered glass strewn across the street.

Three po­lice­men were killed, while sev­eral other of­fi­cers and civil­ians were in­jured in the as­sault at the Kam­pung Me­layu ter­mi­nal.

IS claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity through its pro­pa­ganda agency Amaq, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment car­ried by SITE In­tel­li­gence Group on Thurs­day.

An­a­lysts have pointed the fin­ger at lo­cal IS-linked group Ja­maah An­sharut Daulah (JAD), which has been blamed for re­cent at­tacks.

The bus sta­tion bomb­ing was the dead­li­est at­tack in In­done­sia since Jan­uary last year, when a sui­cide blast and gun as­sault claimed by IS in down­town Jakarta left four at­tack­ers and four civil­ians dead.

Hun­dreds of rad­i­cals from In­done­sia, the world’s most pop­u­lous Mus­lim-ma­jor­ity coun­try, have flocked abroad to fight with IS, and the coun­try has seen a surge in plots and at­tacks linked to the ex­trem­ists over the past year.

Yunus would not re­veal why the men ar­rested on Thurs­day were sus­pected of be­ing in­volved in the at­tack, say­ing only that au­thor­i­ties were led to the trio by wit­ness tes­ti­mony.

Po­lice had said they be­lieved that IS was linked to the at­tack, but gave no fur­ther de­tails.

Jakarta-based se­cu­rity an­a­lyst Sid­ney Jones, who heads the In­sti­tute for Pol­icy Anal­y­sis of Con­flict, de­scribed the claim by the ex­trem­ists as “very cred­i­ble”, and that JAD’s Ban­dung branch was be­hind the as­sault.

Al Chaidar, a ter­ror­ism ex­pert at the Univer­sity of Ma­likus­saleh in In­done­sia’s Aceh prov­ince, said he also thought the claim cred­i­ble.

“I think it is cred­i­ble be­cause they’ve al­ready said on (mes­sag­ing ser­vice) Tele­gram that they are happy about the bomb­ing — they are just re­it­er­at­ing it on Amaq,” he said.

Po­lice said bombs used in Wed­nes­day’s at­tacks were made from pres­sure cook­ers, sim­i­lar to a de­vice used in an at­tack by a JAD mil­i­tant in Ban­dung in Fe­bru­ary.

In that as­sault, po­lice shot dead the at­tacker af­ter he al­legedly set off a small bomb in a park and stormed a lo­cal govern­ment of­fice. No one else was hurt.

JAD was des­ig­nated a ter­ror­ist or­gan­i­sa­tion by the United States in Jan­uary. The US said the net­work was an um­brella group for about two dozen ex­trem­ist out­fits.

Some have pointed the fin­ger at the group for car­ry­ing out last year’s Jakarta at­tack.

AP PIC

Po­lice of­fi­cers search­ing a house dur­ing a raid in Ban­dung, West Java, yes­ter­day.

REUTERS PIC

Work­ers re­pair­ing the wait­ing room of the Kam­pung Me­layu bus sta­tion af­ter Wed­nes­day’s bomb blast in Jakarta, In­done­sia, yes­ter­day.

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