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National Police Uncover Assassination Plot in Latest Arrest

Telly Nathalia
May 27, 2019 | 8:33 pm
National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Muhammad Iqbal, center, speaking at a press conference. (ANTARA Photo/Yulius Satria Wijaya)
National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Muhammad Iqbal, center, speaking at a press conference. (ANTARA Photo/Yulius Satria Wijaya)

Jakarta. In the wake of the May 21-22 riots in Jakarta, the National Police announced the arrest of six new suspects and uncovered a plot to assassinate four national figures and a pollster chief.

The six suspects, comprised of five men and one woman, were arrested between May 21-24 in several places in Jakarta, Bogor in West Java and Tangerang in Banten, National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Muhammad Iqbal said on Monday.

The police also seized two vests with “Polisi” written on them, imitating official police gear.

A .22 caliber rifle modified to hold a scope, along with illegal handguns similar to those issued by the Indonesian military were also found, Muhammad said during a press conference at the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal and Security affairs in Jakarta.

The police spokesman added that the six new suspects were from a different group than the suspects arrested the week before.

“This [group] is different with [the group] that was mentioned by the Chief Security Minister and the National Police Chief last week,” Muhammad explained.

“Different facts, different suspects and different evidence. So there are two groups that were identified. It’s also possible they’re from the terrorist group that we arrested a few days before May 21-22 … There were three groups heading to the rally,” he added.

It is also likely there is another terrorist group involved with last week’s riots that managed to elude arrest, Muhammad said.

Earlier this month, police anti-terrorism unit Detachment 88, arrested more than 30 suspected terrorists from Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), an Indonesian extremist group affiliated with the Islamic State.

The inspector general was only able to disclose the initials of the six suspects: HK, AZ, IF, TJ, AD, and AF.  

Among the six, HK was the field operator, tasked with acquiring weapons and finding hitmen. Muhammad said police officers have identified the suspect prior, but gathered further intelligence before making a move.

HK placed an order on Oct 1 and Oct 13 last year for a .38 caliber revolver from fellow suspect AF for Rp 50 million ($3,473).

HK then purchased a .22 caliber rifle from AD for Rp 5.5 million, and handed the gun to suspect AZ on March 5. On the same day, HK also gave a weapon to TJ.

HK reportedly received a payment of Rp 150 million from his benefactor, while TJ received Rp 25 million.

“TJ was tasked to kill two national figures whose names I cannot disclose to the public,” said the police spokesman.

“On April 12, HK was ordered to kill two other national figures, so the group had four targets,” he added.

Muhammad Iqbal said President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Vice President Jusuf Kalla were not on the list of the four.

Suspect AZ was ordered to kill a pollster leader in April and he reportedly surveyed the target’s home several times. AZ received a payment of Rp 5 million for his task.

HK participated in the May 21 rally-cum-riot in front of Bawaslu offices before the police arrested him in a hotel in Cikini, Central Jakarta in the afternoon, Muhammad explained.

On the same day, police also arrested AZ at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. IF, who was hired as a hitman, was arrested in Kebon Jeruk, West Jakarta.

Last Friday, police arrested TJ in Sentul, Bogor, in a convenience store parking lot while in possession of a revolver and a rifle.

Suspects AD and AF were arrested in North Jakarta and Central Jakarta respectively on the same day.

TJ and AD were tested positive for drugs; amphetamine, methamphetamine as well as benzphetamine.

The six suspects are charged for owning, purchasing and providing illegal firearms under 1951 Law on Emergency and face maximum penalty of life sentence, Muhammad said.

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