Members of the Jakarta Police and elite counterterrorism squad Detachment 88 are seen outside the home of terror suspect Muhammad Arsad on Jalan Kavling Tipar Timur in North Jakarta on Monday. (SP Photo/Carlos Roy Fajarta)

Police Arrest 8 Terror Suspects, Safely Dispose of Bomb

BY :CARLOS ROY FAJARTA & FAROUK ARNAZ

SEPTEMBER 23, 2019

Jakarta. Detachment 88, the National Police's elite counterterrorism squad, arrested at least eight suspects and seized half a kilogram of high explosives during coordinated raids in Jakarta and Bekasi, West Java, early on Monday.

The operations started at around 5 a.m. in Tambun, Bekasi, where at least six suspects were arrested in separate locations. Two more suspects were arrested at their homes in East Jakarta and West Jakarta, according to National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo.

"Their main targets were police personnel and police offices," Dedi told reporters in Jakarta. All eight suspects are believed to be members of the militant group Jamaah Ansharut Daulah.

In a separate raid in Cilincing, North Jakarta, on Monday, members of Detachment 88 seized high explosives, which were detonated in a controlled explosion near the suspect's house. 

"We witnessed the disposal of half a kilogram of high explosives discovered by Detachment 88," North Jakarta Police chief Senior Comr. Budhi Herdi Susianto told reporters at the scene. 

"This was a very sensitive device, which could have gone off easily. So we decided to dispose of it in an empty field," he added.

A police officer shows off some of the explosive devices seized from the home of terror suspect Muhammad Arsad in North Jakarta on Monday. (SP Photo/Carlos Roy Fajarta)
A police officer shows off some of the explosive devices seized from the home of terror suspect Muhammad Arsad in North Jakarta on Monday. (SP Photo/Carlos Roy Fajarta)

Police found the bomb during a raid on the home of Muhammad Arsad on Jalan Kavling Tipar Timur.

Budhi said officers discovered a handwritten note in which Arsad bid his friends and relatives farewell, as he was planning to detonate the bomb at a police station soon.

"We must investigate further whether he planned a suicide attack or just to plant the explosive device at the location. The suspect has uncommunicative with his family members, who do not know much about his activities," the police chief officer said.

He added that the suspect had acquired the various bomb-making materials separately online.

Abdul Ghani, the suspect's 69-year-old father, said his son worked at a soap factory in Jakarta. Arsad is his ninth child and lived with his parents.

"My son is an introvert; it's hard to communicate with him. His marriage lasted only several days, as his wife asked him to leave," Abdul said.

Abdul claims that he had never seen the explosives until police searched the house.

"He often joined congregation at a Bekasi mosque. While at home, he didn't speak to me," he said.

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