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'He's a closed book': Central Java neighbors talk about suspected suicide bomber

Jakarta Post - June 5, 2019

Ganug Nugroho Adi, Kartasura, Central Java – Neighbors of a suspected 22-year-old suicide bomber identified only as RA have revealed details about the man, whom they say had a somewhat closed personality.

"He is a closed book, and doesn't really engage in community activities," said Tumirin, a resident of Kranggan village in Wirogunan, Kartasura, Central Java, on Tuesday. Despite his quiet demeanor, neighbors of RA said they could not believe that it was he who carried out the attack.

RA, they said, was once a bright and sunny person until he left Kranggan some two years ago to pursue religious studies. "But weirdly enough, he now doesn't go to the mosque as often as he did two years ago," Tumirin said.

Munawar, an old friend of RA, said he drastically changed, becoming so inward that in the past year people could barely talk to him.

"Maybe he has been brainwashed," Munawar said, adding that RA had started watching war documentaries and learning about radical acts in the Middle East.

Kranggan village head Sudalmanto said separately that RA had changed after going to an unknown place for about three months.

The National Police's Densus 88 counterterrorism squad searched RA's house early on Tuesday to collect evidence. Among things seized from his residence were sulfur, wires, a cellphone, a switch and aluminium foil.

RA allegedly detonated a bomb in front of a police post late on Monday evening. He was taken to the nearby PKU Muhammadiyah and Moewardi Surakarta hospitals before later being taken to the Bhayangkara Police Hospital in Semarang, as he sustained severe injuries to his legs and hands. No casualties were reported in the incident.

National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo said previously that investigators were working to ascertain the motive behind the foiled bombing.

"We are investigating whether the attack is related to certain [terror] groups or launched by a lone wolf," Dedi said. (vny/dmr)

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/06/05/hes-a-closed-book-central-java-neighbors-talk-about-suspected-suicide-bomber.html