Jakarta Police Chief Insp. Gen. Fadil Imran, right, and Jakarta Military Command Chief Maj. Gen. Dudung Abdurachman, center, display weapons allegedly used by Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) members in an attack on police officers during a highway pursuit on Dec. 7, 2020. (Antara Photo/Sigid Kurniawan)

Six FPI Members Killed During Police Chase


DECEMBER 07, 2020

Jakarta. Six people believed to be members of hardline group Islamic Defenders Front, or FPI, were killed in a highway shootout just after midnight on Monday, police said.

Jakarta Police Chief Insp. Gen. Fadil Imran said the clash occurred on KM50 of the Jakarta-Cikampek toll road during a pursuit of a vehicle allegedly carrying guards of FPI leader Muhammad Rizieq Syihab.

It’s not immediately clear if Rizieq was in the car.

“When Metro Police officers were in pursuit of a vehicle suspected of carrying MRS supporters, they made intentional contact with the police car and then opened fire at officers and brandished sharp weapons,” Fadil said in a news conference at his office, naming Rizieq by his initials

He said at least 10 people were involved in the attack on six officers in the pursuit.

“We responded with a stern measure to the group who attacked our officers, leaving six people dead," he added.

“No officer was injured while four other perpetrators fled the scene.”

He said the pursuit was launched upon reports that thousands of Rizieq supporters would flock to the Jakarta Police headquarters where the FPI leader is scheduled for a questioning on Monday.

Rizieq has been summoned multiple times by the police after he held or participated in mass gatherings involving thousands of people in disregard for the health protocol during the coronavirus outbreak. He has ignored the previous two summonses.

Preliminary investigation revealed that the six deceased were members of the FPI Special Guard who has previously “obstructed justice” by preventing officers from meeting Rizieq in person, Fadil said.

He showed a number of guns, a sword and machetes as evidence during the conference.

“These are real guns and at least three bullets have been fired,” he said.

A purported FPI statement has circulated among journalists condemning the incident.

The statement, signed by FPI Chairman Ahmad Shabri Lubis, said a convoy of vehicles carrying Rizieq and his family, including his young grandchild, was “ambushed” and six guards were “kidnapped”.

“The thugs who carried the operation ambushed and opened fire at the family guards,” it said.

The statement also said the current whereabouts of Rizieq were not disclosed for his safety.