Karuni Rompies, Jakarta – Indonesian police say its anti-terror squad has arrested a suspect and foiled a plan for terror attacks on August 17, Independence Day.
National Police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo said the suspect, identified as Novendri, was an Islamic State sympathiser with "good connections" at home and abroad. He said Novendri was a member of JAD or JAT (Jemaah Anshorut Daulah or Tauhid), a splinter cell of the terror group Jemaah Islamiyah.
He had mapped out police targets in West Sumatra province and assembled several bombs, Dedi said on Tuesday. "Novendri was obviously not alone in doing this. We are still chasing his friends," he said.
He was arrested in West Sumatra on July 18. Dedi said police now have information on the suspected mastermind, identified as Syaifullah, also known as Daniel and Chaniago.
The anti-terror squad, known as Special Detachment 88, was now working with officers from Malaysia, Philippines, Afghanistan, Australia and the United States to find Syaifullah. He was believed to be in Afghanistan's Khorasan province, Dedi said.
He added Syaifullah has received funds transfers via Western Union from as far as Trinidade Tobago, Maldives, Venezuela, Germany and Malaysia. In total, Syaifullah received more than $US28,000 ($39,000) between March 2016 and September 2017.
Police also arrested arrested 12 Indonesians on the border with Thailand. Dedi said they were trying to go to Afghanistan.