National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo, right, shows pictures of a raid by anti-terror unit Densus 88 in Bekasi last weekend. (Antara Photo/Indrianto Eko Suwarso)

Anti-Terror Unit Seizes 'Mother of Satan' Bombs From Terrorist Hideouts


MAY 07, 2019

Jakarta. A police spokesman said on Monday the National Police's anti-terror unit Densus 88 had seized home-made bombs containing a highly explosive substance called triaceton triperoxide, also known as the "Mother of Satan," and arrested six suspected terrorists during a series of raids in West and Central Java last weekend. 

Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo said the six suspected terrorists are members of Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), an Islamic State-affiliated group led by 34-year-old Solihin alias Abu Faiza.

The police have been pursuing Solihin, suspected of involvement in a series of terrorist attacks – including the Thamrin bombing in Jakarta in January 2016 – in the past three years.

Densus 88 raided suspected terrorist hideouts in Bekasi, West Java, and Tegal, Central Java, on Saturday and Sunday. They captured Solihin in Pondok Ungu near Bekasi on Saturday along with A.H. alias Abah, a bombmaker, and M.J., another suspected terrorist. Solihin himself is also known in terrorist circle as a bombmaking expert.

According to Dedi, Solihin was the leader of two terrorist cells that were plotting to launch an attack that will exploit a people power protest planned by disgruntled supporters of presidential nominee Prabowo Subianto.

The General Elections Commission (KPU) is scheduled to announce the results of its official vote count, which currently has Prabowo lagging behind incumbent president Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, on May 22.

The government on Monday had threatened legal action against individuals or organizations that attempt to delegitimize the result from KPU's official vote count. 

Solihin's Terror Cells

Dedi said Solihin's highly structured terrorist cells are unique among other JAD groups that usually prefer to launch "lone wolf-style" attacks. 

"Solihin is part of a JAD group from Lampung known for its strong organizational structure. They swore allegiance to JAD leader Amman Abdurahman in 2014 and had been working under the supervision of Zainul Arifin, who was arrested in Lamongan [East Java]. The group met in Malang [East Java] in November 2015 and after that they launched the attack in Jakarta [in January 2016]," Dedi said.

The police had already captured Amman Abdurahman, who is now on death row. 

Solihin and his group went on the run after the Thamrin attack but then got themselves involved in several other terror attacks, including a deadly prison riot at the Police Mobile Brigade (Brimob) headquarters in Depok, West Java, in May last year, during which five Densus 88 officers and one convicted terrorist were killed.

"Suspects in the Brimob prison riot confessed Solihin was their leader," Dedi said.

Solihin escaped to Papua to establish a terrorist training camp and then returned to Java and Sulawesi to form two new terrorist cells – one in Bekasi and one in Poso, Central Sulawesi – in early 2019.

He seemed to have disappeared under the security forces' radar until Densus 88 arrested two suspected terrorists, R.H. and M., in Bitung, North Sulawesi, on May 2. 

R.H. and M. are members of Solihin’s Poso cell and were going to join up with the East Indonesia Mujahidin (MIT), a militant group led by Ali Kalora, when they were captured. 

Clues collected by Densus 88 from the Bitung raid led to Solihin's arrest in Bekasi last weekend. 

'Mother of Satan' Bombs

Abah was assisting Solihin to make bombs containing the highly explosive triaceton triperoxide (TATP), a substance known also as the "Mother of Satan." 

The same ingredient was used in the Surabaya church bombings in May last year and in several daring attacks on police stations in Java and Sumatra.

The police have also named another captured terrorist with the ability to assemble home-made bombs, F a.k,a. Samuel. His expertise in making bombs is rated higher than Solihin or 35-year-old T., who detonated a bomb to avoid arrest in Bekasi on Sunday but only managed to kill himself.

Terror Plots Foiled

Dedi said Solihin's terror groups were planning to launch several attacks in Jakarta and Bekasi.

One of them was a plan to send a suicide bomber to the Jati Asih police station in Bekasi, an attack intended to encourage other terror cells to follow suit, Dedi said.

"They planned to attack on-duty police officers, wounding or killing them, and seizing their weapons," Dedi said.

The group had already plotted the attack in great details, including drawing a map that was found during the weekend raid.

Another plot was hatched to exploit a people power protest planned by dissatisfied supporters of Prabowo Subianto. 

The attack is again intended to mobilize other terrorist cells in Indonesia.

Dedi said JAD is likely try to use the momentum to encourage other terror cells to launch more attacks, "probably" using suicide bombers.