Since December 10, the National Polices anti-terrorist squad Densus 88 has uncovered various plans to launch bomb attacks. Police shot dead three terror suspects, arresting at least 17 others in a number of regions.
"Densus 88 members thwarted plans hatched by three different groups to carry out planned acts of terror. I praise them because terror poses a threat to us all," Indonesian Police chief General Tito Karnavian said in Bandung, West Java, on Thursday.
Anti-terror police arrested one terror suspect identified as Adam in and killed three others in South Tangerang (Tangsel) District, Banten Province, on Wednesday morning.
The police attempted to arrest Adams friends at Curug Village in Tangsel, but they resisted and were shot dead in the ensuing struggle.
The deceased suspects were identified as Omen, Helmi and Irwan. During the initial interrogation, Adam admitted they had planned a suicide bomb attack at a police station near the BSD Eka Hospital in Tangsel.
Police Chief General Tito said the terrorists were in three groups and planned to carry out bombings in Jakarta, Bali, Tangerang and Banten.
"Yesterday, in South Tangerang (Banten province in West Java), we discovered 14 live bombs that were to be used, besides firearms. The bombs were in the form of pipes and could have been very dangerous," he explained.
Therefore, the police chief ordered the anti-terror squad Densus 88 to continue to track down terrorist networks planning any act of terror in the country. "I have ordered to continue the hunt for such terrorist networks," he said after he delivered a general lecture on the Indonesia Polices policy of preserving national unity and solidarity and enhancing tolerance at the Padjadjaran University in Bandung, West Jave, on Thursday.
He reminded that Densus 88 had successfully foiled groups planning to conduct terror acts during Christmas and New Year celebrations.
With the advancement in information technology, terrorists take advantage of the cyberspace to fight for their cause.
Therefore, the police also have to fight terrorism in the cyber space. "We should utilize our cyber counter-terrorism capability. We should carry out cyber patrols, cyber attacks, and cyber surveillance," the Polri chief stated in Jakarta on Wednesday night.
Polris cyber team patrols the cyber sphere to monitor terrorism activities and developments in cyberspace. "We have a cyber army and cyber troop teams which are assigned to examine websites every day," Tito remarked.
The cyber fight against terrorism is handled by a cyber patrol carrying out cyber attacks on known terrorist communication networks.
The team traces websites used by terrorists and monitors their chat rooms. Communication apps such as Whatsapp and Instagram are also monitored.
"The cyber patrol method is, in essence, equivalent to patrolling in the real world, such as the use of surveillance systems," he said.
The cyberspace oriented fight against terrorism as well as the operations against terrorists in the real world shows the seriousness of the police to crack down on terrorists. General Tito hoped Densus 88s action would deter other terrorist networks from conducting any act of terror in Indonesia.
"Following the arrests in Payakumbuh, Deli Serdang and Batam yesterday, I now feel more confident. However, we must not be over confident. We must remain alert," he stressed.
Eight suspected terrorists were arrested in four regions in the country on Wednesday while three were killed after they defied polices efforts to arrest them in South Tangerang, Banten province.
Since early this year, Densus 88 has arrested some 40 terror suspects across the country.
Since December 10 alone, at least 17 terror suspects have been arrested and three others were shot dead for resisting arrest.
On December 10, Densus 88 arrested three suspected terrorists MNS, AS and DYN (a female). MNS and AS were arrested at Kalimalang flyover in Bekasi, West Java, while DYN was held at her home on Jalan Bintara Jaya 8, Bekasi. Muhammad Nur Solihin or MNS (26) is known to be the leader of the group.
On Sunday (Dec 11), a Densus 88 team arrested three other members of the MNS network. KF (22) was arrested in Ngawi, East Java, APM (25) in Solo, Central Java, and WP or Wawan (24) in Klaten, Central Java.
Khafid Fatoni (KF) alias Toni bin Rifai, a university student, was producing TATP explosives at his house in Ngawi after Bahrun Naim (an ISIS fighter from Indonesia) instructed him (through an internet system) to assemble a bomb along with MNS.
"Based on developments following Wawans arrest, three more terrorist suspects have been arrested," Senior Commissioner Martinus Sitompul, head of the Public Information Division of the Indonesia Police, said
The three are: Imam Syafiee (33), believed to be the perpetrator of a molotov bomb terror attack at Alfamart shop in Solo on November 5, and also at Candi Resto in Solo Baru on December 3, 2016; Sumarno (44), who was caught in Klaten; and Sunarto (30), who was caught in Karanganyar. The last two are suspected to be the perpetrators of a terror attack at Candi Resto.
The Densus 88 team also arrested suspected female terrorist TS alias UA in Tasikmalaya, West Java. "She was caught on Thursday (Dec 15) around 4.30 am in her house in Padasuka, Sukamaju Kaler, Indihiang Kota, Tasikmalaya," he said.
On the same day, Densus 88 arrested Ika Puspitasari (IP) in Tegalsari, Brenggong, Purworejo, Central Java.
On Sunday (Dec 18), the police arrested suspected terrorist Tri Setiyoko (TS), a villager of Kampung Sewu, Jebres, Solo, Central Java. Tri Setiyoko is suspected to be involved in the molotov bombing in Serengan, Solo, and Grogol, Sukoharjo, in Central Java.
Another suspected terrorist arrested in Solo is Yasir (YSR) from Semanggi, Solo. "TS and YSR are suspected to have mixed the explosive materials and made the bomb that was to be detonated in Java, with IP projected to be the executor," he said.
On Dec 21, Anti-terror police arrested terror suspect Adam, on Serpong Street, Tangerang Selatan. Police tried to arrest three of Adams friends at Curug Village in Tangsel, but they resisted and were shot dead in the ensuing struggle.
The deceased suspects were identified as Omen, Helmi, and Irwan. Adam admitted that they had planned a suicide bomb attack at a police station near the BSD Eka Hospital in Tangsel.
On the same day Dec 21, police also arrested suspects Hamzah, also known as JT, in Payakumbuh District, West Sumatra; Sy, in Deli Serdang District, North Sumatra; and Abisya alias Ha in Batam.(*)