JAKARTA, Indonesia (CNS) — Indonesian police have arrested six terrorist suspects, two of whom have been linked to last year’s bombings at three churches in Surabaya, the country’s second-largest city.
Police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo told reporters during an Aug. 26 media briefing that the arrests were made in mid-August in several locations in East Java province and that all those arrested were members of the Islamic State-affiliated group Jamaah Ansharut Daulah, reported ucanews.com.
The group was behind the suicide bombings at Santa Maria Catholic Church and two Protestant churches May 13, 2018. Nineteen people were killed and dozens were injured after members of a single family, including young children, carried out the bombings.
Another attack on the city police headquarters the following day by another family left at least four dead and 10 injured.
Hanafi Abu Zufar, 39, a suspected JAD cell leader in Madura in East Java, and Salman, 31, a suspected cell leader in Lamongan, also in East Java, were arrested Aug. 22.
“Both are closely linked to the Surabaya bombings,” Prasetyo told reporters. “At least, they knew of the plan to launch the attacks in Surabaya.”
The arrest of the two cell leaders brings the number of suspects arrested in connection with the Surabaya bombings to more than 200, according to police.
Prasetyo said three other suspects were arrested Aug. 23 in Blitar, while a sixth suspect was apprehended after he allegedly robbed a gold shop in East Java’s Magetan district.
“He claimed to be an ISIS sympathizer and said robbing the gold shop was to get funds to go to Syria,” Prasetyo said.
A police search of his home uncovered Molotov cocktails, homemade rifles, arrows, machetes, crowbars and firecrackers.
Stanislaus Riyanta, an intelligence analyst from the University of Indonesia, told ucanews.com that the arrests suggested that JAD remained a significant threat in Indonesia.
“As long as the JAD network is still strong, threats against places of worship remain high,” he said.
The Indonesian government introduced tougher anti-terrorism laws soon after the Surabaya bombings. They grant the police wider powers when arresting and detaining suspected terrorists. Police are allowed to detain suspects for 14 days before charging them with a crime, while pre-trial detention can last up to nine months.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
PREVIOUS: Syriac Catholic Church reestablishes diocese in northern Iraq
NEXT: Pope: Proclaim God’s love through care for needy
Share this story