"The late Rullie Rian Zeke and Ulfah Handayani Saleh entered the Philippines in December 2018 illegally,” he said in Jakarta, Wednesday.
Two suspected terrorists Novendri and Yoga revealed this information after their capture by the anti-terror squad Special Detachment 88 some time ago.
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Novendri is a member of the Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) group in West Sumatra, while Yoga is a part of the same group in East Kalimantan.
Both Zeke and Saleh were indoctrinated with radical values and declared that they were capable and ready to become bombers.
The couple was recruited by Andi Baso, a fugitive of the bombing incident in Oikumene church in Samarinda, East Kalimantan.
Baso then worked with Saefulah who controlled the network and informed him about the couple’s capability and willingness.
“They then mapped out the network in the Philippines and prepared to become suicide bombers,” he said.
The Special Detachment 88 is currently working with the Filipino authorities to obtain the DNAs of Zeke and Saleh, which they will match with that of their families in South Sulawesi.
“Should the DNA samples match, we will then officially deem them the suspected suicide bombers,” Prasetyo said.
The bomb that was detonated in a church in Jolo Island killed 22 people and left more than a hundred people injured.
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