Police raid the house of a suspected terrorist after an Islamic State-linked suicide bomb attack in East Jakarta in May. (Antara Photo/Novrian Arbi)

Police Round Up 36 Militants During Ramadan Amid Tightened Security


JUNE 20, 2017

Jakarta. Security officers have arrested 36 suspected terrorists across the country since last month's suicide bomb attack in East Jakarta as police tighten security to prevent terror attacks during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Many of the men arrested were members of extremist group Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD). Not all of them were connected to the Islamic State-linked Kampung Melayu attack but police said on Tuesday (20/06) some of them had planned to launch more attacks.

"We've strengthened preventive measures during Ramadan," National Police Chief Gen. Tito Karnavian said at his office in Jakarta. "We've immediately taken action once there's an indication of terror attacks."

Arrests were made in Bandung in West Java, Banten, Malang in East Java, Surabaya, Temanggung and Kendal in Central Java, Jambi, Medan in North Sumatra and Bima in West Nusa Tenggara.

Police arrested two suspected JAD members in Bima on Saturday who they said had planned a bomb attack on a police station in Wahom on Sunday.

"The men who were arrested were in possession of firearms and bombs. Some of the bombs, like the ones in Bima, were ready to be set off," Tito said. "The people arrested in Malang and Surabaya were also members of JAD," he added.

JAD is believed to be uniting scattered terror cells sympathetic to the Islamic State which have sprouted across the country and claim Aman Abdurrahman, an influential radical cleric now serving a prison term for terrorism, as their leader.

Aman is currently serving his nine-year sentence at Nusakambangan Prison Island, just off Cilacap in Central Java.

He is believed to be the mastermind behind the bomb-and-shoot attack in Central Jakarta in January last year that killed four people.

Six months later, an attack on a police station in Solo, Central Java, on the last day of Ramadan injured an officer and killed the suicide bomber.

Aman will be freed by the end of 2018, but police are currently finishing up an investigation to prove his involvement in other terror attacks across Indonesia.

Since the Sarinah shootings and bombings last year, Indonesia has seen a series of other terror assaults, the latest of which was the attack in East Jakarta that killed the two suicide bombers and three police officers. The attackers also had suspected links to JAD.