Makassar anti-terror raid: None of 18 arrested named suspects yet

Makassar anti-terror raid: None of 18 arrested named suspects yet

Makassar city police officers cordon off a house that was raided on suspected terror cell-linked activity. (ANTARA FOTO/Arnas Padda/yu/aww)

Makassar, S Sulawesi (ANTARA) - South Sulawesi police have revealed that none of the 18 persons that the Densus 88 anti-terror squad arrested at a home in Villa Mutiara, Makassar city, on January 6, 2021, has been named a suspect.

"They remain under questioning. None of them has been named a suspect," South Sulawesi police spokesperson, Sen.Coms.E Zulpan, told local journalists here on Monday.

Investigators from the Densus 88 antiterror squad are still grilling the 18 persons with suspected links to the Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) networks in Makassar city and South Sulawesi province, he informed.

Investigators have been given seven days to complete the questioning and find evidence of the group's terrorist cells, he added.

If all 18 persons that police officers found inside the targeted house are found innocent, they would be freed, he said.

"The problem, however, is that they were found inside the raided house," he added.

The Densus 88 anti-terror squad personnel are cracking down on those suspected of being involved in JAD networks in Makassar city and South Sulawesi province to prevent any possible terror attack, he explained.

Two suspected members of the group, identified as RZ (44) and AZ (22), were shot dead by South Sulawesi police during a raid on January 5, 2021 and were buried recently under tight police security.

"We secured the funeral procession because we wanted it to be conducted smoothly, and there was no objection from local residents," South Sulawesi police chief, Insp.Gen.Merdisyam, said last week.

Several personnel from the South Sulawesi police's mobile brigade (Brimob) unit were deployed to secure the funeral procession to keep locals from preventing the bodies from being buried in their neighborhood's public cemetery.

Several times in the past, people living near public cemeteries have objected to burials of suspected members of terrorist networks in Indonesia, he explained.

Merdisyam, however, did not disclose the name of the public cemetery where the two suspected militants' bodies were buried. He only said it was a public cemetery in Gowa district.

According to police, RZ and AZ were gunned down after they tried to assault cops who raided their house in Bulurokeng neighborhood of Biringkanaya subdistrict, Makassar city, early in the morning on January 5, 2021.

Indonesia has been a target of terrorist attacks since 2000, and the spread of radicalism and terrorism continues to pose a threat to the country.

In May, 2018, a church in the East Java city of Surabaya was attacked by terrorists, as reported by ANTARA at the time.

Earlier, on January 14, 2016, ISIS supporters in Indonesia launched a suicide bombing and shooting attack in Jakarta, which claimed the lives of eight people, including three civilians.

In March, 2019, Solimah, a housewife, detonated a home-made bomb inside her house in Sibolga, North Sumatra province.

Then, on November 13, 2019, a suicide bomber attacked the Medan city police headquarters in North Sumatra. The suicide bomber was killed and six people were injured in the attack.

Early on the morning of June 1, 2020, a policeman from the Daha Selatan precinct of South Kalimantan province died after a suspected terrorist attacked him with a Samurai sword.

These incidents have added to the list of deadly assaults conducted by terrorist cells in Indonesia.

Between 2000 and 2012, more than a dozen attacks have taken place in the capital city, including the Australian embassy bombing on September 9, 2004, and the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotel bombings on July 17, 2009. (INE)

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