Sunday, September 24, 2023

Man Arrested for Kidnapping Children Claims Involvement in Terrorism

Vento Saudale
May 13, 2022 | 7:24 pm
Suspected child kidnapper Abi Rizal Afif, left, is presented in a press conference at the Bogor Police headquarters in West Java on May 12, 2022. (Vento Saudale)
Suspected child kidnapper Abi Rizal Afif, left, is presented in a press conference at the Bogor Police headquarters in West Java on May 12, 2022. (Vento Saudale)

Jakarta. A man who was arrested recently for kidnapping boys has claimed that he had received terror convictions and left prison a couple of months ago, police said on Friday.

Abi Rizal Afif, 28, was arrested on Tuesday at a mosque in Kebayoran Lama, South Jakarta, where police also rescued 10 children believed to be his victims.

One of the rescued victims, an 11-year-old boy from Bogor, has been reported missing since Sunday. Nine other boys were rescued several hours after they arrived at the mosque with the suspect.

The case is handled by the Bogor Police.


“According to the suspect’s accounts, he has been imprisoned three times, two of which were related to terrorism,” Bogor Police Chief Adjunct Chief Commr. Imam Imanuddin told reporters.

The suspect claimed that he was involved in military training by a militant group in the Central Sulawesi town of Poso and in a terror attack in front of Sarinah shopping mall in Jakarta in 2016, Iman said.

During the raid, Abi was shot in the leg with police claiming that he had resisted arrest.

"When we arrived at the mosque in Kebayoran Lama, we discovered more children. We rescued at least 10 children, nine were from Central Jakarta," Bogor Police detective chief Siswo Tarigan said in a news conference.

Police are investigating the motive behind the kidnapping, but at least one victim said he had been sexually abused, he added.

The suspect impersonated a policeman and threatened his victims for not wearing masks according to the health protocols before taking them to the mosque, Siswo said.

Police began the manhunt after a boy identified by the initials FF was reported missing on Sunday. He was having exercise with his friends near his home in Bogor when the suspect came and criticized them for not wearing a mask and then took the boy with him on a motorcycle. 

Abi’s claim of terror convictions is being investigated after a prison official said the suspect’s name was not found in the list of former prisoners in Gunung Sindur prison in Bogor.

“Based on data in our possession, a man named Abi Rizal Afif has never served a jail term at Gunung Sindur Penitentiary,” prison head Mujiarto told Detik news website.

A prisoner named Muhammad Rizal was released from the facility after completing his term for money fraud conviction on January 12 but Mujiarto doubted that both men are actually the same person.

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