Jakarta – The National Police claim to have foiled terror plots, including suicide bombings, in several cities across Java, which were allegedly planned by Islamic State-linked homegrown militant group Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD).
This comes amid an ongoing crackdown against the terrorist network in a string of operations that started following the attack against Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Wiranto last week.
In Yogyakarta and Surakarta, Central Java, JAD had even prepared the grooms – a term used by the group for suicide bombers – for the planned attacks, which have since been thwarted by the police's Densus 88 counterterrorism squad, National Police spokesperson Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo said.
"We have arrested an [alleged] suicide bomber in Yogyakarta, who targeted the [local] police headquarters and houses of worship," Dedi said as reported by kompas.com, "In Surakarta, too, [JAD] prepared the suicide bomber with similar targets."
The suicide bombing plots, Dedi said, had nothing to do with the scheduled inauguration of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and 2019 presidential race running mate Ma'ruf Amin as president and vice president on Sunday.
Densus 88 had also discovered and thwarted terror plots reportedly planned by JAD's West Java chapter in Cirebon and Bandung, which prompted them to arrest 11 alleged terrorists of the group in the two cities in a string of operations until Tuesday, he said.
In both cities, Dedi claimed, members of JAD also planned to attack the local police headquarters and houses of worship. In Cirebon, particularly, the alleged terrorists had prepared the bombs, Dedi said as quoted by Antara.
"In Bandung, meanwhile, JAD [plans] to launch an attack with various weapons such as airsoft guns, knives and other bladed weapons to attack [their targets] in person as well as in the targeted places," he said.
Dedi said that as of Tuesday afternoon, Densus 88 had arrested at least 26 alleged terrorists in a string of operations since the attack on Wiranto on Thursday, when a man – who was later arrested and identified as a JAD member – stabbed the minister during his working visit to Pandeglang, Banten.
After the attack, Wiranto was immediately rushed to Gatot Subroto Army Hospital (RSPAD) in Central Jakarta, where he underwent surgery for two abdominal stab wounds he had sustained in the attack. The minister is still being treated at the hospital at the time of writing. (gis/afr)