Indonesia arrests 3 suspects in bombings that killed police
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesian police arrested three suspects Friday for alleged involvement in twin suicide bombings that killed three policemen in Jakarta, while the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack.
The suspects in Wednesday’s blasts were detained at three places in Bandung, the capital of West Java province, police spokesman Yusri Yunus said.
“The roles of each and their group are still being investigated,” Yunus said.
U.S. terror monitors the SITE Intelligence Group said the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack, which targeted police at a bus terminal in eastern Jakarta. Three policemen and the two attackers were killed and 11 people, both police and civilians, were wounded.
Authorities in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation, have carried out a sustained crackdown on militants since the 2002 bombings by al-Qaida-affiliated radicals that killed 202 people in Bali. In recent years it has faced a new threat as the rise of the Islamic State group in the Middle East has breathed new life into local militant networks and raised concern about the risk of Indonesian fighters returning home.
The attack Wednesday was the deadliest in Jakarta since January 2016, when a suicide and gun strike in the central business district left four civilians and four assailants dead.
National police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian said DNA tests confirmed that the suicide bombers were Ichwan Nurul Salam, 31, and Ahmad Sukri, 32, both from West Java province. Police had earlier given a different spelling of Salam’s name and said he was a different age.
Karnavian said they were members of Jemaah Anshorut Daulah, a network of about two dozen Indonesian extremist groups that formed in 2015 and pledges allegiance to Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
JAD, which Washington designated earlier this year as a terrorist group, has been implicated in a number of attacks in Indonesia over the past year.
Police identified those arrested Friday as Jajang Iqin Shodiqin, Waris Suyitno and Abu Dafa. Yunus said police seized a computer, cellphones and documents about Islam from Shodiqin’s house in western Bandung.
Police said Shodiqin has had an active role in raising donations for a radical Islamic boarding school in Poso, a region of Central Sulawesi where a Muslim-Christian conflict killed at least 1,000 people from 1998 to 2002.
Karnavian said more than 120 police have been victims of the group’s attacks — 40 who died, including the three killed Wednesday, and about 80 who were injured.
He said police have foiled at least two attempted attacks by the group.
“They have learned how to come close to policemen and avoid intelligence detection,” he said.